By this time in 2014, Long Island had already had a blizzard and schools were closed. Not only that, but it was the 2nd snow day of the year, not to mention two additional days of delayed openings. So far this year, we have been lucky (bit your tongue, knock on wood).
Remember the excitement we all felt as kids when we would go to sleep wondering if we would have school the next day? We would wake up, see snow and realize that school was canceled and feel pure exhilaration. As kids, we don’t realize the logistics, including shoveling the piles of snow or scheduling babysitting at the last minute because our offices are not closed. As always, it’s a tough juggle for parents.
Something else kids do not realize are the dangers of winter weather. It’s all fun and games to play outside in the snow, but there are some real hazards, especially for adults who spend their snow days shoveling, snow-blowing and breaking up patches of ice.
How to Avoid Injuries from Shoveling & Clearing Ice
(provided by KidSource)
- Dress warmly, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose, and ears.
- Avoid shoveling snow if you are out of shape. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel snow unless your doctor says it’s okay.
- Do light warm-up exercises before shoveling and take frequent breaks.
- If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side.
- Don’t drink alcohol before or while shoveling snow. Never smoke while shoveling.
- Use rock salt or de-icing compounds to remove ice from steps, walkways, and sidewalks. Sand placed on walkways may also help prevent slipping.
- If you use a snow blower (also called a snow thrower), follow these safety guidelines:
- Be sure to read the owner’s manual before starting and that you understand all of the recommended safety steps.
- Make sure all people and pets are out of the way before you begin.
- Do not put your hand in the snow blower to remove impacted snow or debris. Turn the machine off and wait a few seconds. Then use a stick or broom handle to remove the material.
- Do not leave the snow blower unattended when it is running.
- Fill up with fuel before you start, when the engine is cool.