Youth campers keeping cool during hot summer days

mmorgan@centredaily.comJuly 16, 2013 

  • beat the heat

    •  Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location

    •  Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty

    •  Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen

    •  Schedule outdoor activities carefully

    •  Pace yourself

    •  Take cool showers or baths to cool down

    •  Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you

    •  Do not leave children or pets in cars

    •  Check the local news for health and safety updates

In an effort to stay cool on these hot summer days, some local summer camps are putting a spin on classic games. And that will be especially important this week when temperatures will feel like 100 degrees.

Instead of playing Duck, Duck Goose, Centre Region Parks and Recreation camps have been playing Drip, Drip Drench to allow the kids to get outside but ensure they are able to beat the heat.

“When we are outside, our staff has been using hoses and variations of average games to make it a water-based game,” CRPR program manager Niki Tourscher said.

She said the staff is trained to spot signs of dehydration and make sure the kids are drinking enough water throughout the day. Other measures include spending extra time inside air-conditioned rooms and taking trips to the pool.

Dehydration could be a problem for anyone this week with temperatures in the 90s combined with high humidity, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said.

He said the humidity will be so high this week that afternoons will feel like 100 degrees.

“When you get dew points up near 70, everybody is feeling miserable,” he said.

The humidity brings with it a chance of thunderstorms, and Thursday and Friday will be the hottest days before a cold front moves in Saturday. Thunderstorms are expected Saturday — and they could be strong, he said.

He added that dehydration is a major problem in this weather, and once the signs start setting in, it might be too late. He said people should drink lots of water and stay out of the sun whenever possible.

State College YMCA branch camp representatives are doing their best to keep campers cool, limiting outside time and enforcing water bottles and sunscreen, camp manager Cindy Lupton said. When the children are able to get outside they play water games.

In some cases they are cutting the time outside by half, and utilizing the indoor YMCA pool. They also notify parents of ways to keep cool.

Lupton said the preventative measures are successful, and they haven’t had any major issues.

The people at highest risk for heat-related problems are the elderly, young children and people with chronic disease, but the heat can affect anyone, said Frank Guillard, a physician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.

Drinking water and sports drinks with electrolytes is important, Guillard said, but if people are doing work outside, they should be drinking two to four cups an hour.

He also advises everyone to avoid sugary drinks, wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, staying in air-conditioned areas whenever possible and avoid being outside during the hottest portions of the day.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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