Camps change programs to keep kids safe during dangerous heat: 'Don't take that risk'

Elaina Athans Image
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Summer camps modified programs for blazing heat
Thousands of children are in summer camp as this hot weather sweeps through our region and summer campos are making modifications to their programs to keep kids safe.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands of children are in summer camp as this hot weather sweeps through our region. This means staff at summer camps are modifying their programs to keep kids and themselves safe.

Wake Harvest Director Jessica Rivera says she's making a call every day about whether it's safe or not for the 45 children in her care to be outside.

She'll look up the heat index, as well as the air quality, and then decide.

If kids are going to be outside, it'll happen before temperatures peak in the afternoon and they have to stay indoors when the air quality is particularly bad.

"We don't take the risk on those days," said Rivera.

She says staff is constantly watching over kids to make sure they stay safe while playing or learning.

"You can tell," she said. "Some of the children will get flush in the face and then it's like 'Alright let's go inside for a few minutes, get some water, take a break, alright you're good, let's do back outside,'" said Rivera.

Rivera and City of Raleigh Youth Programs Director Beth Soles say one of the biggest challenges is making sure kids stary hydrated.

Soles will build in dedicated water breaks to daily schedules.

"We're going to make sure that we actually make everyone stop and have a water break instead of 'Bring your water bottle with you.' We're going to stop and have a water break and everyone drink water now," said Soles. "All of our staff are trained on heat illnesses, so they're aware of like signs and symptoms."

The City of Raleigh has 21 Summer Express camps across the city. Staff are entrusted to care for more than 1,100 children each day.

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