Caretaking for Loved Ones: A Health and Medical Blog

Two Health Tips for Farmers

There are quite a few health risks associated with working on a farm. If you're a farmer, here are some tips that should help to ensure that your occupation doesn't result in you developing health problems.

Get a full-body skin cancer check once a year

Most farmers spend a lot of the workday outdoors, doing things such as planting and harvesting crops, taking care of their livestock, sanitising their farmyard and repairing farm equipment. If this is the case for you, then you should get a full-body skin cancer check approximately once every year.

The reason for this is as follows; being outdoors for extended periods of time on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing many forms of skin cancer. This is true, even if it is normally cloudy outside whilst you are working (as the sun's ultraviolet rays can penetrate clouds).

Whilst wearing sunscreen can help to lower your risk of getting this disease, you should not assume that you are completely protected just because you use this type of product, as the physical exertion you experience as a result of the work that you do on your farm is likely to result in you sweating off a lot of the sunscreen that you apply to your skin.

Getting your entire body checked for signs of skin cancer on a regular basis will mean that, should you develop this disease, it won't be left to progress for too long before it is diagnosed and treated.

Take steps to avoid contracting 'Farmer's Lung'

'Farmer's Lung' is a type of respiratory condition which, as the name suggests, is particularly common amongst farmers.

This condition usually occurs when a person inhales mould spores that have formed on rotting hay or crops. It can cause inflammation, which can lead to permanent scarring of a person's lungs. This, in turn, can leave a person with serious breathing difficulties for the rest of their life.

It is important to do what you can to minimise your risk of developing this illness. The best way to do this is to ensure that the hay that you use as cattle feed and the crops that you harvest are kept in dry storage areas that are very well ventilated; this will reduce the risk of moisture causing these foods to rot to the point where mould starts to form on them.

If some of your hay or stored crops do spoil and you are concerned that there might be dangerous types of mould on them, you should put on a respirator before handing them.