Staying safe while shoveling out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Staying safe while shoveling out

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Eastern Iowa will spend the next couple of days shoveling out. But there are dangers involved with shoveling, as it can be a highly strenuous activity.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has some tips on how to make sure all that shoveling doesn't get the best of you. Shoveling can be risky for those with heart conditions and bad backs. Pushing or lifting too much snow can cause injuries ranging from aches and pains to fatal heart attacks.

As the snow piles up, shovels are flying off store shelves. ACE Hardware in Iowa City has had a tough time keeping them in stock, especially those with ergonomic designs.

"What it does is let you have your hand up higher so you don't bend over, like you would with a normal handle, so it saves your back," said sales associate Ryan Strief.

Many shoveling injuries are caused by lifting too much snow at one time. To avoid this, you can get a smaller shovel, or one made out of lightweight aluminum or plastic.

"The steel ones can get really heavy, which makes them last, but it's harder on your back, also," explained Strief.

The IDPH says there are other steps to take to avoid overexerting yourself. Take frequent breaks, if only for a few minutes. Stop or go inside if you become overheated or too cold. Don't try to fling or toss large amounts of snow. And of course, be sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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