Maryland residents should remain cautious while shoveling snow after Monday night's snow storm. Here are some tips on how to stay safe.

SILVER SPRING, MD — Maryland residents should remain cautious while shoveling snow after Monday night's snow storm. The storm can create potentially dangerous situations, from icy patches to dehydration.

Shoveling snow is a strenuous activity that can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Make sure you are physically fit enough to shovel snow, and seek help if you aren’t. Residents are encouraged to help seniors or others who may not be physically able to shovel.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

“Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be tasking on the body. There is a potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. During snow removal in addition to following the tips for avoiding cold stress, such as taking frequent breaks in warm areas, there are other precautions workers can take to avoid injuries. Workers should warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time and where possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. The use of proper lifting technique is necessary to avoid back and other injuries when shoveling snow: keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body.”

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while shoveling snow from Patient First in Baltimore:

  • Shovel as early as possible. Snow is heavier after it's been on the ground for a few days from melting and re-freezing.
  • Warm your body up before snow shoveling. Do ten jumping jacks or jog in place before you shovel to get your blood flowing before you begin.
  • Be sure to take your time and move slowly while shoveling to avoid spraining or pulling a muscle.
  • Wear shoes with gripping soles to provide traction while moving through icy areas. Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking in order to keep your balance on a slipper surface, and don't carry heavy items with you.
  • Dehydration is common during the winter months, as winter activities are just as strenuous as summer activities. Since we tend to wear layers of warm clothing during the winter, our bodies work harder by sweating to cool us down. Drink before, during and after outdoor activities.

Montgomery County Police also offered the following suggestions:

  • Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts and take frequent breaks. Listen to your body and STOP if you feel pain or experience any warning signs of a heart attack.
  • Symptoms of a heart attack may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, nausea as well as shoulder, neck and arm pain. Call 911 immediately if you believe you are having a medical emergency.
  • If using a snow blower, keep hands and feet away from the motor and moving parts.
  • Even if you’re just outside your home, keep a cell phone with you in case of emergency (such as a fall, cardiac emergency, etc.). With windows and doors closed, people inside the home may not be able to hear cries for help.
  • Slips and falls are winter’s most common injuries. Use sand, salt or an ice-melt on walkways. Shovel your sidewalk and walkways. And use patience and caution when walking: take smaller steps and keep your center of gravity over your feet.

Unwary shovelers are risking more than just injury, according to reports. In January, a pregnant Pennsylvania teen died after shoveling snow during the blizzard, her family told reporters. The baby did not survive.