There are funerals at funeral homes in Cleveland, OH for people who have experience working on farms. America, until the middle of the 20th century, still had a large number of family farms.
Many older people, who may have moved to urban areas for education and better-paying jobs in the industry, may have left farming communities where they knew what it was like to get up 365 days a year before the sun rose to tend to animals before going to school or heading out, during the late spring, summer, and early fall months to harvest crops as they ripen.
It was hot work in the summer months, but relief could be found under the canopy of a barn or an abundance of shade trees and in ice-cold water or soda during the day, and in homemade ice cream, churned the old-fashioned way, on the front porch at night.
While farm work during planting and harvesting seasons was long, dusty, and hot, the days were not as hot as many of those same days are now. The earth has been steadily getting warmer over the past several decades and it’s not unusual now for temperatures during the summer months to stay well above normal (with heat indexes driving the real-feel temperatures even higher) for long stretches of time.
If we work in offices, we may complain about the heat when we venture out during the day, but for the most part, we are in fairly comfortable temperatures most of the time, with thermostats set at 70 degrees or so. Then we get in our cars and adjust the air conditioning to a comfortable temperature. Finally, we walk into our homes where we turn on an air conditioning unit or a central HVAC system to keep our living spaces comfortable.
However, farmworkers spend their entire workdays outdoors in the sweltering heat. Often those workdays are from sunup to sundown, which can be as long as 15 or 16 hours in the western United States. Therefore, farmworkers’ lives are increasingly being jeopardized by prolonged exposure, with little or no relief, to excessive heat.
Heatstroke is one of the potentially fatal dangers that farmworkers face. Heatstroke occurs when the body overheats after extended exposure to high temperatures or after physical exertion in high temperatures.
This is the most dangerous type of heat injury that people can suffer, and it has a high fatality rate. If someone’s body temperature rises to 104 degrees or higher, then heatstroke can occur.
If the body can’t cool down or is unable to cool down fast enough, then death occurs.
Farmworkers are constantly faced with the threat of suffering heatstroke as they perform grueling labor under hotter and hotter summer skies. In addition to heatstroke, farmworkers also face other life-threatening risks from the heat.
One of these is chronic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure. This happens because farmworkers are performing strenuous labor, losing a lot of water through sweat, and not replacing it by drinking enough fluids.
Some larger farms have modified their work schedules so that farmworkers work at night instead of during the day. However, with climate change, nights have become much warmer than they used to be, so while the risk of heat-related illnesses and death is reduced some, it is not completely eliminated.
If you’d like to know how funeral homes in Cleveland, OH are helping our communities with cooling resources, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2165 E 89th St., Cleveland, OH 44106, or you can call us today at (216) 791-0770.