Even before major health issues from working in the sun can occur, its UV rays begin damaging unprotected skin. Without proper sunscreen or sun protection, a sunburn will begin to spread on any exposed piece of skin on those out and about for even a short length of time. Overexposure to the sun will have the greatest affect, and workers who spend hours beneath the sun's rays may suffer from sunburn that could lead to even worse complications.
In the heat of a blistering summer day, many of us retreat to an air conditioned environment, or chug gallons of water just to survive the rising temperatures. For those who make a living working outdoors, the burning rays of sun are torture, and cause more harm than good. Working in the heat of the day should be avoided, especially with all the health complications that can occur if you're not careful.
A form of hyperthermia, heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature becomes drastically elevated, and it can be fatal if not treated properly, according to Melissa Conrad Stöppler, M.D. Victims of heat stroke have been exposed to high heat for an extended period of time, and failed to take the necessary steps to prevent it. Workers who've been overexposed to the heat and fall down with heat stroke must be attended to immediately to prevent permanent damage or death; their body temperature must be regulated by cooling it down. Outdoor workers have a high risk of developing heat stroke, so they should stay hydrated and do only light chores, or avoid working in the heat completely.
Occurring typically before heat stroke, but after sunburn begins, dehydration can strike quickly if workers aren't careful. With the heat pounding down on a person, sweat will zap the body of vital moisture and cause anything from fever and vomiting to even fainting, according to the Mayo Clinic. By drinking plenty of water, or a product like Gatorade, you can continue to replace the lost moisture to your body and help prevent dehydration. Workers who become dehydrated should immediately cease working, retreat to a cooler area such as a shaded spot out of the sun and drink plenty of water.
When the skin becomes extremely burnt from overexposure to UV rays, sun poisoning may develop. Sun poisoning can cause an array of issues, such as swelling, pain, blisters, nausea, fever, chills and other symptoms similar to sunburn and dehydration. Workers who've spent hours outdoors in the sun without proper protection are at a high risk for sun poisoning, so they must take precaution when exposed to the sun for an extended length of time. Sunscreens in a higher SPF protection will help prevent sun poisoning, and seeking shade periodically throughout the day can also help fend it off.
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