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Protect Your Family from Sun Damage

The warm
sun has a major impact on crop growth, but the heat of the day can make
dangerous working conditions for people.  Farm workers are especially vulnerable to heat exposure. When the body
becomes overheated, workers become weak and tire more quickly. 

Too much heat
can also cause workers to become less alert, which is particularly dangerous if
they’re operating farm equipment. It’s important for farmers to be aware of the three main phases
associated with heat illness: 

  1. Dehydration – Results when the body isn’t taking in enough liquids.
    Symptoms include fatigue, thirst, dry mouth, and sapped energy. Cramping may
    also occur in the legs and abdomen.
  2. Heat exhaustion – Occurs when the body loses too much water and salt.
    Symptoms include excessive sweating, extreme fatigue, clammy skin, dizziness or
    confusion, nausea, as well as fast, shallow breathing.
  3. Heat stroke – Occurs when internal temps rise rapidly and the body is
    unable to cool down. Symptoms may include profuse sweating, chills, throbbing
    headache, poor coordination, slurred speech, vomiting, hallucinations, fainting, or collapse.

Repeated exposure to the sun can cause premature aging, eye damage, and
even cancer. Damage takes place over time, so it’s important to encourage
protection at a young age. To limit exposure and prevent long-term damage:

  • Avoid the sun during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear hats with wide brims that cover the face, neck, and ears.
  • Cover as much of your body as possible with light clothing.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply often.
  • Wear sunglasses rated to filter out UV rays.

Research shows a link between sunburns in children and an increased risk
of melanoma and skin cancer later in life. Help protect the future of
agriculture by protecting the next generation of farmers and ranchers! Click
for more tips on how to keep your children safe in the sun.

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