LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — With school out of session and all the summertime fun to be had, many people are not considering the potential dangers of being outside amid soaring temperatures, especially for children.
In attempts to combat the negative heat effects, some day cares are getting creative to allow kids to enjoy the outdoors safely.
Karen Fitzgerald, the day care director at Mary Bethune Academy, says it is important to think outside the box when it comes to handling the heat.
“When they are outside, we have spray bottles. They love that, they love getting misted,” Fitzgerald told WFXR News. “We will do water days once a week where the kids can come wear swimsuits and play in the water tables and such, and we’re just constantly making sure they’re hydrated.”
In addition to finding cooling activities, Fitzgerald says she tries to get the kids outside early in the morning, before it gets too hot.
For those looking to beat the heat by the pool, Adam Eloett, a lifeguard at the Miller Park Pool in Lynchburg, says staff members are prepared to help anyone who is overheating.
“What we do if we have someone who is suspected of heat exhaustion, we’ll sit them down in the shade, we’ll put them in resting position, we have electrolyte-filled popsicles and water and Gatorade all in the fridge up there that are for the guards and for any patrons that need it,” said Eloett.
According to Eloett, heat-related issues are more common than you may think, so it’s important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion, especially among kids.
“A lot of people just want to pass it off as ‘oh, I’m just a little dehydrated,’ but a little dehydrated goes a long way and it can really, really have some negative effects,” Eloett said.
Eloett also says that children should have something to eat before spending time in the sun, adding that the pool at Miller Park will even provide a free meal for those under the age of 18.
On top of that, health experts constantly remind people to drink more water than usual in the summertime, especially during periods when temperatures are reaching the mid-90s around southwest and central Virginia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should drink eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes when spending time in the heat, but you should not drink more than 48 ounces an hour.