"Dog Days" start July 3

The official arrival of the dog days of summer is this coming Saturday, July 3rd. Farmers in our region are being advised to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion . . . and also heat STROKE.

Image: Centers for Disease Control

According to the CDC, signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cold, clammy skin and a feeling of nausea. The best remedy for heat exhaustion is to move to a cool place, loosen your clothes, drink water and place a cool, wet cloth on your skin.

CDC officials say signs of heat STROKE, which is a completely different thing, include a fast pulse, confusion or a headache, and a high skin temperature. Officials say heat STROKE is a medical emergency and 911 should be called immediately.

And yes – the dog days of summer start this Saturday, July 3 and continue through August 11.

How To Help

If you think someone is suffering from a heat stroke call 911 immediately. This is a medical emergency that could result in death. While waiting on medical professionals to arrive you can help the worker get into a cool, shaded area, loosen their clothing and help remove outer layer of clothing, fan air onto them and provide ice pack underneath armpits if possible and be sure they are drinking cold fluids.

If you or another worker are experiencing heat exhaustion you should stop working immediately and move to a cool, shaded area. Be sure to drink cold water, apply cold compresses and stop working for the day. Keep on eye on the symptoms. If symptoms have not improved or have worsened after one hour seek medical attention.

Preventing Heat Stress

Environmental and job-specific factors contributing to heat stress can be avoided to prevent injury and illness. Because these factors are often present, it is important for workers to prepare for the heat. Each worker that could face these factors needs training on how to prevent the dangers of heat and become acclimated to their work environment. Acclimation to heat and work environment is one of the most important steps to preventing heat stress. Workers who have never worked in high temperatures for long periods of time or are unfit to do so should acclimate themselves to their surroundings before diving into a days work.

The heat index is helpful for workers exposed to high heat. Use it as a prevention tool. The heat index takes temperature and humidity into account to determine how hot it feels. When the temperature in the air is similar to or slightly higher than normal body temperature it becomes harder to cool off. The blood circulated to the skin cant lose its heat and sweating becomes the main way the body cools off. Sweating is only effective if the humidity level is low enough to allow evaporation and the fluids and salts the body is losing become replaced.

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