Shoveling can be dangerous; caution urged

Back pain, chest pain, slip-and-fall injuries, heart attacks.

Shoveling snow can be a dangerous game.

But practicing shoveling safety can help mitigate those risks.

Keeping good posture — bending at the knees and keeping the back straight — can prevent shoveling-induced back pain, said Michael McHugh, emergency room doctor at Berkshire Medical Center.

The Berkshire Eagle reports besides posture, it's important to use the right size shovel for one's height and to wear proper clothing.

It's possible to overheat and become dehydrated while shoveling snow in heavy clothing.

McHugh recommends dressing in layers that can be opened or shed as one warms up.

Also, he said, it's OK to take a break and get water.

Good shoes with a solid grip can also prevent slip-and-fall injuries.

Heart attacks are common with snow shoveling, McHugh said.