BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Prepare your kids for the heat on the walk home

Published: Aug. 15, 2019 at 5:43 PM CDT
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With hot temperatures in the forecast for the next week, it's important children are ready for the long walk from school.

Some elementary and high school students walk anywhere from a mile to three-and-a-half miles to and from school every weekday. With the sun beating down on them, they need to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as wear the appropriate clothing and drink water. Also have them ditch any dark clothing. and opt for light colors as it will reflect more sunlight.

"Younger children have more of a chance of having heat related illness to occur... just because of their age... and they get dehydrated more quickly... and that kind of thing," said Jean Grabeel, the Director of Health Services for Springfield Public Schools. "We want to make sure all of them though are protected."

Children need to be aware when they start feeling dehydrated, dizzy, lose vision, have clammy skin, or heavy sweating, as these are all signs of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke symptoms include throbbing head, lack of sweating despite the heat, and nausea and vomiting. If you feel any of these symptoms drink water, take a break in the shade, and call for help.

Thankfully, Grabeel says there has not been an issues with heat related illnesses in the Springfield School district. She also says her staff monitors students when they arrive at school, as well as when they are out at recess for these symptoms.