SENIORS: Need Help Shoveling Snow? Call the Senior Center and the SHS National Honor Society Will Help

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The Saline High School  National Honor Society is offering to shovel snow for local senior citizens.

Residents in need of assistance with yard cleanup or snow removal are asked to contact the Saline Area Senior Center at 734-429-9274 or kenyonm@salineschools.org.

City Ordinance

City of Saline ordinance requires snow or ice must be removed within 24 hours after the accumulation ends.

Shoveling Snow Safely

The beauty of freshly fallen snow is undeniable. Such beauty compels millions of people across the globe to ski and snowboard each winter, while millions more enjoy simply looking out their windows at snow-covered landscapes.

If it was as convenient as it is beautiful, snow would likely be welcomed with open arms whenever the local weatherperson includes it in his or her forecast. But heavy snowfall can be inconvenient, making it difficult to travel and even creating more work for individuals responsible for shoveling their driveways and walkways.

Shoveling snow can increase a person's risk for injury, and some may be surprised to learn just how frequently such injuries happen. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that, in 2018, more than 137,000 people needed medical assistance for injuries that happened while shoveling snow or using snowblowers.

Sprains and strains in the back and shoulders are the most common injuries when shoveling snow. But people also can suffer lacerations and injuries related to below-freezing temperatures when shoveling snow. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends people keep these safety precautions in mind when shoveling snow this winter.

  • Stretch before shoveling. Just like you would do before exercising in a gym, stretch prior to picking up your snow shovel. Warm up your muscles with some light exercise for 10 minutes to reduce your risk of sprains, strains and muscle tears.
  • Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks. The AAOS notes that snow shoveling and snow blowing are aerobic activities. Such activities require participants to be hydrated. In addition, taking frequent breaks can help prevent injuries.
  • Avoid shoveling snow if you're at risk for heart attack. Some people should avoid shoveling snow entirely. According to the Harvard Medical School, researchers correlated hospital admissions and deaths due to heart attack the day after it snowed in Canada between 1981 and 2014. Researchers found that the deeper the snow, the more men died of heart attacks. In fact, researchers found that there was a 34 percent increase in heart attack deaths the day after an eight-inch snowfall, and those rates increased when snowfall increased. Most deaths were men, but both men and women who are at risk of heart attack should avoid shoveling snow, particularly after heavy snowfall. Adults who are unsure of their heart health should consult with their physicians prior to shoveling snow.
  • Use the right equipment. Ergonomic snow shovels can make shoveling less taxing, reducing your risk for sprains and strains. Spacing hands on the tool grip can increase leverage, making shoveling easier and less likely to lead to injury.
  • Pushing snow instead of lifting it. The AAOS recommends pushing rather than lifting snow when possible. If snow must be lifted, squat with your legs, knees bent and back straight. When lifting, lift with your legs and do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow at a time and walk to where you want to dump. The AAOS warns against holding shovels full of snow with arms outstretched, as doing so puts too much weight on the spine. Snow should not be thrown over the shoulder, as such a technique requires a twisting motion that puts stress on the back. In addition, the AAOS notes that heavy wet snow should be removed in pieces and not all at once.

Anyone can get injured while shoveling snow. Such injuries are preventable when certain safety measures are taken. 

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