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Keeping kids safe in the heat during Memorial Day weekend

Posted: 5:18 PM, May 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-24 17:03:25-04
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A major May heat wave is arriving just in time for the holiday weekend, just like the First Alert Weather Team told us it would. And this heat is reaching dangerous levels.

With temperatures well into the 90s, some places around town will get much hotter.

"Over here, this equipment gets a little warm. She always touches it. If it's too hot, she just doesn't want to go on it anyhow," said Shawn Yorks, who was visiting Tom Brown Park. "Normally during the heat of the day, we go do something else inside. we're going to go to some indoor place later on today."

Most of the play area at Tom Brown Park is shaded, and therefore more comfortable to play on. However, there is a section of the play area that sits in the sun.

In fact, before 11:15 a.m. Thursday, some of the playground toys were already over 130 degrees.

That's a big concern for parents. Children may get burned on hot playground equipment or overheated in the hot sun.

"We keep her cool clothes. We keep her covered up, sunscreen, and lots of water," said Yorks. "She loves water and so she drinks a lot of water."

Doctors say you should also pay close attention to less obvious signs.

"As the temperatures rise, every hour, checking on your kid. 'Hey, it's time to take a break.' Make sure they're drinking and modifying activities," said Dr. Chad Ward, Pediatric Intensivist at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. "There are things during the summer days. The library open up. There's activities they can do during the day time. Just planning accordingly."

The teachers at Scottsdale Academy do just that.

"If they have to stay inside for safety reasons, change the scenery. Go to a different room. Do a scavenger hunt," said Jennifer Keister, Owner of Scottsdale Academy. " Just change the room that their in and playing with."

The Scottsdale Academy staff keeps an eye on the heat index to determine how long, if at all, the children should be playing outside.

It's important to watch your children for muscle and stomach cramps, nausea, and heavy breathing when playing outside. Those are all signs that it's time to cool off indoors.