The NYC area typically endures a few major snowstorms each winter. While shoveling and snow blowing might be common activities during this time of year, those who do not take the necessary safety precautions can end up in a hospital because of them. If you are heading outdoors this winter to clear away the snow and ice from your porch, sidewalk, or driveway, keep in mind these injury prevention tips:

Wear Proper Attire

The clothing you wear when you shovel or snow blow is just as important as the equipment you use to clear away the snow. Well-fitting attire offers multiple benefits. One, it can keep your muscles warm and minimize the risk of muscles strains and tears due to cold and stiffness. Two, appropriate clothing and accessories can reduce unanticipated accidents. For example, if you wear gloves too big for your hands, they can slide off as you try to maneuver your shovel, which can lead to an accident and injuries.

Watch Your Step

It is also important to make slow, deliberate movements whenever you head outside to shovel or snow blow your property. Snow and ice can make even the steadiest person lose his balance and suffer a slip and fall injury. Trying to maneuver a shovel or snowblower while walking on a slippery surface may only increase the risk of potentially life-threatening accidents. To protect yourself from falls and the injuries they can cause, wear non-slip footwear and walk carefully on slippery pathways.

Take Indoor Breaks

Even a few minutes of being outside in sub-freezing temperatures can affect your motor coordination. Numb hands and feet can make it difficult to hold onto your shovel or snowblower and walk with stability. The longer you remain outside, the greater the chance that you might also suffer a strain from cold muscles. Therefore, prevent injuries by spacing out your shoveling or snow blowing duties and coming inside periodically to warm your body.

Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine is always available to help you be your healthiest 365 days a year. If you have recently suffered an accident and are experiencing pain and stiffness, don’t wait for your symptoms to disappear on their own. Call (718) 690-9520 to discuss your concerns with one of our knowledgeable Forest Hills orthopedists. 

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