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A snow plow heads up the Kenilworth Access.

Clear sidewalks, help a neighbour and take it easy shovelling, city reminds

The City of Hamilton is reminding residents and businesses of the bylaw requiring them to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall.

Keeping sidewalks and walkways clear of snow and ice increases accessibility for all and reduces injuries caused by slip and falls, the city reminds. Don’t forget to also to uncover hydrants around your home for the benefit of everyone.

More volunteers are needed for Volunteer Hamilton’s Snow Angels program to clear snow for local seniors and persons living with disabilities. If you need help clearing your snow or would like to volunteer, visit www.snowangels.ca or call the Snow Angels hotline at 905-523-1910.

More snow information from the city is available at http://www.hamilton.ca/HotTopics/Winter-storm-updates.htm

The city also offers the following information about safe snow shovelling. During the winter season Hamilton Paramedic Service responds to numerous calls involving injuries, cardiac chest pain, and even cardiac arrest as the result of strenuous exercise from shovelling snow. If you are shovelling the snow is important that you do so in a safe and paced manner that is in keeping with your level of fitness.

Keep in mind the following tips if you are thinking of shovelling snow:
• Contact your doctor about your health status before taking on this strenuous activity – this is especially important if you have had a heart attack or have other forms of heart disease, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, are a smoker or lead a sedentary lifestyle
• Dress warmly
• If someone else is at home let them know you are going outside to shovel
• Watch for signs of frostbite
• Consider hiring someone to shovel for you or contact a volunteer program like Hamilton’s Snow Angels (visit www.snowangels.ca or call 905-523-1910)
• Use proper techniques when shovelling – use your legs by bending at your knees and keep your back as straight as possible, and step towards the area you are throwing the snow to avoid twisting at the lower back
• Take small loads of snow with each shovel
• Take breaks – approximately every 15 minutes
• If you can, push the snow instead of lifting it
• Watch for signs of heart attack – chest pain or discomfort (squeezing, pressure, fullness, burning, heaviness), pain in other areas of body (arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, back), prolonged shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, feeling faint/dizzy, excessive sweating, and/or nausea and vomiting – if you experience any of these symptoms stop shovelling and call 911 immediately.

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