Think Heart Before You Clear Snow and Ice
BRAMPTON, ON. (Dec. 22, 2010) – A 9-1-1 call for paramedics may be the last thing on your mind as you head out to get rid of the snow, but a heart condition can change all that.
“Whether you have a heart condition or not, everyone should be tackling this chore safely,” says Brad Bowie, Public Education Officer. “Knowing your overall health and the health of your heart can help you decide whether it’s safe for you to shovel snow.”
To prevent injury, practise the following:
- If you have a history of heart trouble, talk to your doctor about how much physical stress your heart can handle; shovelling snow may be too much for you.
- If you take respiratory medications before exercising, it may be a good idea to take them before shovelling snow; speak to your doctor.
- Do light warm-up exercises before shovelling. If you are out of shape, spend time warming up and take as many breaks as you need.
- Push snow in front of you. If lifting it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Avoid tossing snow over your shoulder or to the side.
- Dress warmly. Pay special attention to your feet, hands, nose, and ears. For more cold weather safety tips, visit coldweatherinpeel.ca.
- Keep an eye on yourself. If you experience any chest pain, call 9-1-1. Also watch for subtle signs of a heart attack. Go to the safety tips section of peelems.ca to learn what they are.
“You may want to consider having the snow removed for you, if you are at high risk for a heart condition or already have one,” says Bowie.
Peel Paramedics respond to more than 80,000 emergency medical calls every year. For more information about Peel Regional Paramedic Services, visit peelems.ca.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit our website at peelregion.ca.