Shoveling is Fine -- But You've Gotta Be Careful, Docs Say

TOLEDO -- One of the most dangerous activities during a snow storm is shoveling. On Wednesday, News 11's Shelley Brown checked out the dangers. Here's her report.

Doctors say it is easy to injure yourself if you're not careful. They say the biggest concern is people who stress about the snow, those who are in a hurry to be somewhere. They panic and end up overexerting themselves while clearing their driveways.

Residents on Midwood St. in west Toledo were putting their snow-blowers to good use in the morning. Others -- like the Jackson family -- made it a team effort to shovel their driveways and sidewalks. They're looking to get it done soon -- so they can go sledding.

But doctors say when you shovel, you need to do some things to insure your safety. First, they say, it's important to dress appropriately. Prolonged exposure will cause you to lose heat and dissipate a lot of your energy.

Also, give yourself plenty of time. Complete the task in multiple stages, and take frequent breaks. Actually go inside to allow your body to warm back up and get your heart rate up.

"Most people you know have very little exercise tolerance to begin with," says Dr. Rob Wood, a Toledo Hospital ER physician. "They put on a lot of heavy clothing. They go outside and start breathing a lot of cold air, and now they're going to start lifting very heavy snow. It's a lot of bending over and standing up, which is just not stuff their body is used to doing."

Dr. Wood says the hospital sees more injuries once people have cleared their driveways. And that's because once the snow is cleared, there's slippery ice to deal with.

Posted by KO