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Winter Weather Comes with Health Risks

Snowy weather isn't new to Central New Yorkers. Everyone knows that means shoveling and braving extreme winter weather. But the weather could be putting your health at risk in more ways than you imagine. No matter how healthy you think you are, the physical exertion of shoveling in combination with colder temperatures can be too much for the heart.

Snowy weather isn't new to Central New Yorkers. Everyone knows that means shoveling and braving extreme winter weather. But the weather could be putting your health at risk in more ways than you imagine. No matter how healthy you think you are, the physical exertion of shoveling in combination with colder temperatures can be too much for the heart.
"Harold Beaudry is ninety years old...but that doesn't keep him from taking care of the snow in his drive way.
"We had about six or eight inches here earlier and this is the second time we've had quite a lot," he said.
Regardless of age, an emergency room doctor at St. Luke's hospital says working outdoors this time of year can get you in trouble, especially if you have asthma or emphysema.
"When the weather changes quickly like this it can make their conditions more significant more severe, chest pain type patients, heart attacks, shortness of breath," said Naveen Seth, Associated Director of the Emergency Department at St Luke's Hospital.
Gordon Henderson spent the afternoon up-righting his mailbox--and playing it safe.
"Yeah and I had a quadruple by-pass too, it's good for it, i just be careful, move slowly," he said.
"Pay close attention to any signs of pains in your chest , trouble breathing, and if you start to feel any of those symptoms, stop what you're doing," said Seth.
He says the major health risk that comes with snow clean-up is slipping any falling.
"I'm very careful about it because I'm 90 years old, I can't afford to fall," said Beaudry.
Something else to watch out for--frostbite--especially with children--Seth says cover up all exposed skin.

"It gets cold painful and then you won't be able to feel much at all so you can have sensations of frostbite and not really realize it," said Seth.
And less common, but something he sees every year is injuries caused by snow-blowers.
"People don't think they're going to have their hands sucked in, but all of the sudden they lose a finger and those can be very damaging," he said,
Beaudry hasn't into this problem yet--his favorite part of snow-blowing is when it's over.
"I go in and have a rest, sometimes sit down and take a nap," he said.
Some things to keep in mind-- dress in layers, warm up by starting off slowly, and use a smaller shovel so you're not tempted to take big shovels of snow.

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