Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee December, 2004
Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!
The Scoop about Snow Shoveling
SNOW! You either love it or you hate it, but either way, you have to get rid of it from your driveway. With Jack Frost nipping at your toes, keep in mind that outdoor activities can be risky, including shoveling snow. Many people sustain injuries every year from improper lifting, overexertion, or simply by trying to shovel too much snow. Exercise experts say shoveling heavy snow requires as much energy as running 9 miles per hour! In addition, breathing cold air, and being exposed to the cold all make the heart work harder.
If you are over 40, sedentary, smoke, have elevated blood pressure, are overweight, and/or have a heart condition, play it safe and get someone else to do the shoveling. However, if you want to get a little fresh air and some exercise here are some safety tips to help you get a handle on safe shoveling:
- If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without a doctor’s permission.
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
- Take it slow! Shoveling (like lifting weights) can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically; so pace yourself. Be sure to stretch out and warm up before taking on the task.
- Shovel only fresh snow. Freshly fallen, powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down variety.
- Use a smaller shovel. This will force you to have a lighter load.
- Push the snow as you shovel, it’s easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way. For example, shovel one long strip along your driveway or walk, and then clear the remaining snow by pushing it the short distance across the driveway/sidewalk.
- If you run out of breath, take a break. Don’t work to the point of exhaustion, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- If you experience any of these symptoms, please stop: heavy sweating; shortness of breath; tightness in the chest; or pain anywhere.
- Dress warmly. It is best to dress in layers. Then you can either add or take off a layer. The clothes should be able to breathe and be made of natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Also, remember gloves, hat and boots that will grip slippery surfaces.
Snow Shoveling Quiz-True or False?
- To minimize exposure to cold do your shoveling all at once, after the snow has fallen. (False)
- Shoveling snow is like a sport; e.g. you need to warm up, practice good techniques and drink lots of water. (True)
- It’s better to push the snow to the side rather than to lift and throw it. (True)
- You should treat snow shoveling like picking up a heavy object. (True)
- Feeling tired or short of breath means you are benefiting from the exercise. (False)
Reminder: Please don’t forget to clear the public walk as a courtesy to pedestrians.
Security Savvy Students
A well-designed residence hall that is equipped with the latest technology can provide students a safe and secure living space. But the critical component in ensuring the effectiveness of the security system is the student. Here are some safety tips that Public Safety encourages students to follow to enhance their safety on campus:
- Never prop open residence hall doors.
- To guard against theft, residents should always lock the doors of their rooms, even if they are only going away for a few seconds.
- Lock doors and windows, especially windows on lower floors, when alone or sleeping.
- Do not leave messages on your door or on voice mail revealing that you are away or when you will return.
- Never let strangers into the residence hall, and report strangers loitering in or near a residence hall to authorities.
- Walk in groups, or take advantage of safety escorts provided by Public Safety (282-2515) to help students return safely to their residence halls.
Gun Safety! What you Can Do To Protect Your Family!
We sometimes give children more credit than we should. Even the most responsible youngster will occasionally do things they shouldn’t and make a mistake. Unintentional shootings most often occur when children are unsupervised and out of school. They tend to occur in the late afternoon, on the weekend, during the summer months and holiday season.
Every gun owner should carefully consider the reasons for having a gun. If there is no compelling need to own a gun, you should consider removing it from your home.
If you choose to share your love of firearms with your kids, begin by teaching the basic gun-handling rules:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire.
- Be sure of your target and beyond.
A gun in a shoe box on the top shelf of a closet is not considered to be a safely stored gun. Neither is a gun placed under the mattress or somewhere else where your child “would never look for it.” Children are naturally curious and if a gun is not stored properly, there is a good chance that a child may find it and injure himself or someone else.
Gun Safety Tips:
- If you own firearms, carefully consider where to keep them.
- Store guns unloaded, locked up and with a lock on the trigger. Consider a lockbox for handguns. Store ammunition separately—and locked up.
- If you or a family member are experiencing high levels of anger, fear or depression, please consider removing the guns from your home. It is during these times a gun is often used against a loved one or against ones self.
- Never handle a gun when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never leave a gun in your vehicle. Guns are often stolen from cars.
- Teach your children never to touch a firearm without supervision, and to immediately tell an adult if they find a gun.
- Know where your firearms are at all times. You are accountable for them.
- All gun owners/users should receive training in the safe handling and care of their guns and ammunition.
NOTE: Hunter Education Registration will be December 18th at Lee Aiken’s Sport Shop on Main Street in downtown Pocatello.
Holiday Drinking: Keep It Safe
Don’t Leave Home Without These Tips
As you might suspect, the holiday season is the most dangerous time of year for alcohol related accidents and deaths. There are several reasons for this. More people drink during the holidays due to numerous parties and other festivities. Many holiday drinkers don’t drink very often, so they have a lower tolerance for alcohol. Problem drinkers love the holidays because there are more social occasions to drink. They feel more “normal” because the occasional drinkers are also more likely to abuse alcohol during this time of year.
The holidays are busy and sometimes stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions make driving more dangerous. Add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster.
To help you keep your alcohol intake at a healthy level, consider these strategies:
- Avoid using alcohol to quench your thirst. Drink a 1:1 ratio of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Alcohol is a diuretic and can leave you dehydrated if you neglect the water.
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. This can cause stomach upset and rapid absorption of alcohol in your system.
- Add lots of ice to reduce the amount of booze you consume.
- Always order wine by the glass, not by the bottle or liter. This will help prevent over-consuming “just to finish it off.”
- When you go to a party, preplan a limit of three or fewer drinks for the evening and spread them out accordingly.
- If you’re serving alcoholic beverages, have non-alcoholic beverages available also, and serve something to eat.
- Have alternative transportation available for intoxicated persons. DON’T LET FRIENDS AND GUESTS DRINK AND DRIVE!
- Feel free to refuse alcohol regardless of pressure or encouragement to drink.
- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! Be responsible— decide how you will get home before the party. Drive to social events in groups of two or more and have the driver agree not to drink.
- If you even think you have had too much to drink, call a taxi or consider staying overnight at your host’s house.