Tips for shoveling snow

York Dispatch

With the snow storm finally over in York County, now it's time for snowbound residents to start the arduous task of shoveling to freedom.

For some, it may feel like trying to tunnel out of a German POW camp like in the film The Great Escape.

The state Department of Health provided the following shoveling tips:

  • Consider shoveling in shifts instead of all at once;
  • Take breaks and drink water to prevent dehydration;
  • Dress warmly and stay dry;
  • Make outdoor trips brief and dress warmly;
  • Cover your ears, head, mouth, and face;
  • Push snow instead of lifting it – if you must lift, bend your legs and not your back;
  • Avoid twisting motions that can stress your back; and
  • If using a snow blower, follow all safety instructions and stay aware of others who may be nearby.

The cold temperatures also puts an added strain on the heart. So be careful to not to overdo it.

“If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold,” Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said in a news release. “When removing snow, make sure you stay as warm as possible and call 911 if you or your loved ones have any heart attack symptoms.”

The major symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, upper abdomen, or back;
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint;
  • Chest pain or discomfort;
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness;
  • Nausea; and
  • Vomiting.