BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Doctors are warning residents to be cautious while shoveling on Tuesday due to a number of health issues that can occur while doing so.
“I think that we’ve had so little snow this year that people are all of a sudden with wild abandon think gee we need to get out there and clear the walkways, we need to make certain we clear the driveways,” said Dr. Michael Redler, an orthopaedic surgeon at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
He is warning people not to tackle a big snow-clearing job quickly and says that shoveling wet, dense snow after a less than physically active winter can be a recipe for danger or even death.
Redler says not to lift shovels full of wet, heavy snow at once, instead, chip away at it.
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“I think that doing it in layers, taking breaks is a good idea,” Redler said.
“We’re so anxious to clear the way to get on with the rest of our day it can be dangerous, and so you’ve got to listen to your body,” he said.
Redler says to stay hydrated, as you may not realize how much you are sweating in the cold.
Redler is also warning people to know the danger signs of heart issues while they’re shoveling.
“You’ve got to make certain that you’re not getting short of breath, make certain that you’re not getting chest pains. Make certain that you’re not getting dizzy,” Dr. Redler said.
The American Heart Association’s guidelines said that if you feel chest pain or pressure, lightheadedness, or heart palpitations, stop the activity immediately. If your symptoms don’t go away shortly after, call 911.
And beyond heart and joint injuries Dr. Redler treats a lot of slip-and-fall accidents during snow storms.
“Falls that can injure wrists, hips, elbows, ankles all very, very common,” Redler said.