How to stay safe while shoveling snow

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A big round of snow is heading our way, and it’s important to remember shoveling heavy snow can take a toll on people who are not used to physical activity.

Meaghan Crawley, trauma and injury prevention coordinator for Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital says although it can be a pain, going out frequently and shoveling smaller amounts of snow can be easier on the body.

“You want to make sure you are clearing the snow often. Clearing small amounts often is going to decrease the weight, and it’s going to put a lot less strain on your body,” Crawley said.

Chest pain, tightness and dizziness are all signs your body needs a break. A doctor should evaluate those with heart conditions.

Crawley says dressing in layers while shoveling is important too. Since shoveling is a physical activity, it’s sometimes easy to forget it’s cold outside.

Slip and fall accidents are very common in the winter. Crawley says it’s important to wear a pair of shoes that have good traction, like a pair of boots with tread.

“It becomes harder to keep your footing when it’s slippery outside, so making sure you have good footwear is absolutely essential,” Crawley said. “Make sure you’re taking slow, steady, short steps. Don’t be rushing. Allow yourself a little bit of extra time to make sure you’re not potentially running on the ice.”