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Keeping Kids Cool in the Heat

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EUGENE, Ore. — The heat is on around Lane County. And while it can mean fun in the sun, warnings are going out to keep kids safe.

Doctors want parents to know about the dangers.

Coaches, Scout leaders, and parents we talked to say they are taking extra steps and planning ahead to keep kids cool, just like doctors recommend.

While the heat can accommodate fun, it can also bring danger if kids aren’t properly prepared.

“Kids are really more susceptible to heat, especially 90 or above, much more than adults,” said Dr. Chris Hammond.

So leaders of outdoor camps, like the Boy Scouts and the Jordan Kent Skills Camp at Cal Young Middle School in Eugene are doing what they can to keep the kids safe.

“They’re drinking between every station. We keep them in the shade as much as they can. We got most of our activities out in shaded areas,” said Rob MacLuan of the Boy Scouts of America.

“We tell the campers you can get water anytime you want to. We walk around with spritz bottles and spray all the campers to make sure they’re cooling off, and we also just dump a lot of buckets of water on them to be honest. It’s to keep the kids wet and having a great time because it does get really hot out here on the turf,” said Jordan Kent of Jordan Kent Skills Camp.

Health experts say hydrating, and frequent breaks are key to keeping kids from suffering any heat related injuries.

“Frequent drinking is very important every 15 to 20 minutes when it’s this hot, and hopefully coaches and trainers can learn to pace these kids,” Dr. Hammond said.

Dr. Hammond says parents should also make sure kids are drinking before and after activities as well.

“I hydrate them really well. I brought a ton of water with us,” said parent Cory Anderson.

“Safety is always the number one priority. For the boys it’s all about having fun, and for us it’s not fun if somebody gets hurt,” MacLuan said.

“That’s the most important thing right there is making sure these kids are staying cool, because then it gives them more energy, which just makes it more fun for everybody,” Kent said.

Dr. Hammond says water is the best drink for kids and adults in the hot weather, and he recommends staying away from energy drinks because it dehydrates the body.

Coaches and doctors say eating is also important, and they recommend snacking on plenty of fruit.

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