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Stay safe in summer heat

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Stay safe in summer heat

Corn grows in a field in central Indiana on a hot summer afternoon.

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been a hot, dry summer for most of the state. Farmers working outside should take precautions to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

According to AgriSafe Network, heat-related illnesses can impair health and safety at any age.

According to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control study, from 1992 to 2006, a total of 68 crop workers died from heat stroke. This represents a rate nearly 20 times greater than all U.S. civilian workers.

Some demographics are at higher risk for heat-related illness. Older workers may have more difficulty regulating body temperature. Young children sweat less and quickly produce more heat than adults.

Farm workers may be working far from water or shade, making it easy to get overheated.

Tips for preventing heat-related illness and fatalities:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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