Summer is nearly here and that means there will be many fairs, festivals, and shows for artists and crafters. While having vendor insurance protects your business and personal finances, you also need to take care to protect yourself in the sweltering heat of summer.
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average summer temperature for 2013 was 78º F. Of course, different parts of the country will have higher average temperatures and other parts will be lower, but the fact is that you could find yourself in real trouble if you aren't careful.
How to Prevent Heat Related Sickness
Prevention is always the best approach when it comes to heat illnesses. The American Red Cross has the following tips to prevent fair, festival and show vendors from developing a heat-related illness.
- Wear light clothing
- Utilize shade such as a tent or canopy
- Use sunscreen
- Drink plenty of water
However, if you or a neighboring vendor suffer from heat illness, it's important to know what steps you should take.
Know the Dangers of Heat
According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main types of heat illnesses you should be trying to prevent. They are: heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Heat rash is the most common heat related illness that you may encounter as a vendor at fairs and festivals. It is characterized by red bumps on your skin, especially around joints and your neck.
If you find yourself developing heat rash, you will want to keep the area dry and, if you can, move to a location that is cooler and has more shade.
Heat cramps can be tricky. They usually manifest as muscle spasms in the arms, legs, and stomach area, and may even seem like soreness from something you did the day before; however, if you don't take care of them, they could be dangerous.
To treat heat cramps, you should get out of the heat and find a place where you can rest. You should also drink plenty of water and give yourself a good amount of time to recover. Medical attention may be required if the cramps persist.
While all heat illnesses are dangerous, fair and festival vendors should be especially on guard for heat exhaustion. Not only does it pose a serious risk to your health, but it could also turn into heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms include: headaches, dizziness, vomiting, profuse sweating, and moist skin.
If you encounter this illness you should stop your work for the day. To treat it, find a cool place to lie down, drink water, and use ice packs to help you cool off. Again, you may need to seek medical attention for heat exhaustion.
The first thing you need to know about heat stroke is that it is incredibly dangerous and you will need to call 911 for medical attention as soon as possible. It includes seizures, fainting, confusion, and exceptionally high body temperatures.
Once again, you should find a cool area to rest, remove tight clothing, drink water, and use ice to facilitate cooling.