Winter in Canada is full of dangers. The roads are hazardous, the sidewalks are slippery, winter sports are all super dangerous, and much like living on the moon you can actually die if you get stuck outside without a protective suit.
But there's one hazard people don't often think of, shovelling. Health Canada is warning people to be very careful when shovelling their cars during the winter.
Every year, people collapse and die as a result of shovelling their cars, and it has nothing to do with health or old age.
Here's how it happens:
People turn on their engines and start digging out their cars, but they don't often start by removing the snow covering the car's tailpipe. As the engine runs, the exhaust from the car starts accumulating underneath and inside the car. So now you're shovelling while breathing a lethal concentration of exhaust fumes.
The worst part is you probably won't realize it until it's too late, because the fumes are colorless and odourless.
More often this happens when people are finished shovelling. They sit in their car ready to drive away; unaware the car filled with carbon monoxide. They then lose consciousness and die.
3 people from Montreal died in 2016 alone from shovelling their cars, so this is a very serious matter.
Health Canada is also warning that shovelling is very dangerous activity even when you aren't digging out your car
"Strenuous exercise and cold weather each have the ability to increase blood pressure and heart rate. They can also elevate blood concentration of fibrinogen, a protein associated with blood clotting. But when strenuous exercise and cold weather are combined, the risk of heart attack is even greater." - Health Canada
They recommend you:
- Stay Warm.
- Dress Properly.
- Avoid a full stomach.
- Take a break.
- Use the buddy system.
- Consult your doctor if you're older, overweight, out of shape and/or have a history of heart disease.