YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Staying cool in soaring temperatures
By Gary Joiner
Summer temperatures have arrived in Texas, and in a big way.
Hard work outside and high temperatures don’t mix well. It’s important for farmers and ranchers to know the signs of heat stress and exhaustion.
Symptoms of heat illness include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea, a weak but rapid pulse and headaches.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends individuals with these symptoms find shade, drink water slowly and make sure there is good ventilation.
Heat stress can quickly progress to heat stroke. This is dangerous. It causes high body temperatures, confusion, brain damage, loss of consciousness and even death.
Individuals at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
The best defense against heat-related illness is prevention.
Drink plenty of fluids but avoid drinks with caffeine or a lot of sugar. Start drinking fluids before going out into the heat.
Plan strenuous activity for early mornings or evenings when the temperature is cooler.
Take frequent breaks when working outside.
Wear sunscreen, hats and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
Be careful out there. Texas summer heat is not to be taken lightly.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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