Tips for shovel duties

By Denise Jackson

February 5, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM CDT

PEORIA,IL-A word of caution tonight as Central Illinois residents once again find themselves on shovel duty. Severe health risks that can occur if you are not careful.

Twelve-year-old Samuel Ben-ezra and his buddy are used the snow day off from school Wednesday to make money shoveling sidewalks.

"One time I was out for 6 hours straight.

Even youngsters deep in their work need to be careful digging out of all the heavy snow. This second major snow storm in less than a week has people of every age shoveling.

"I'm 63 and I don't think it's a good idea to come out and just do the whole drive way all at once and it's too cold for that," said Nancy Whalen of Peoria.

Heart attacks are one of the most common occurrences for people shoveling snow.

"It's vigorous activity, it tends to raise your blood pressure and you exert yourself when you put stress on your heart," said Unity Point Methodist Emergency Room physician Dr. William Fletchall.

Dr. Fletchall recommends, using the the proper size shovel, shovel early and often, lift with your legs, not back and know your limitations.

Over exertion while shoveling is just one of several potential health hazards in the winter.

Health officials say muscular injuries like strains, twisted ankles or broken limbs can also occur in the winter. So even if you are not on shovel duty extreme caution is important while outside.