To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association suggests:
*Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition or don't exercise on a regular basis, schedule a meeting with your doctor before the first anticipated snowfall.
*Take frequent breaks during shoveling so you don't overstress your heart.
*Don't eat a heavy meal before or soon after shoveling since it can place an extra load on your heart.
*Don't drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person's sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
*Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. Wear a hat and dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation.
*Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. Lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
*Listen to your body. If you feel the warning signs for heart attack, stop what you're doing immediately and call 9-1-1.
The warning signs of a heart attack include:
*Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
*Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck and arms.
*Chest discomfort with lightheadness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
For more information, call the American Heart Association at 1-800-968-1040 or visit www.americanheart.org.The Boy Scouts of America have cancelled Wednesday night's Geocaching to Promote Scouting event and the Miami District Roundtable for Scouting Leaders at Waynedale United Methodist Church.