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Staying Cool at School

There are still weeks of school left to go in some Connecticut districts and, with temperatures in the mid-90s, some schools sent children home early today. For schools without air conditioning, these last, summer-like days present a challenge.

Connecticut state law does not set a maximum temperature for public school buildings. Many children are better off at home on a hot day, but when students don’t have air conditioning in their house or apartment, school can sometimes be the safer option.

If you’re struggling with the heat this week, Education World recommends keeping lights and electronics off when possible. Bring in a fan or two if you can and encourage students to sip water.

The website Peaceful Playgrounds offers information on keeping kids cool in school and on the playground.

Keeping Kids Cool at School is a Shared Responsibility

Parents and schools working together can mitigate this problem and keep kids safe. Parents can send their children to school ready to deal with the heat by:

  • Sending students in light-weight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing.
  • Making sure kids have a cap with a brim that protects the face.
  • Sending children with a water bottle on a hot day.
  • Talking to children about the dangers of getting overheated.

Schools can:

  • Allow water bottles at school so that teachers make sure their students have access to plenty of liquids.
  • Limit recess time outdoors.
  • Encourage sipping water frequently after time spent physically active.
  • Teach students warning signs of heat exhaustion.
  • When possible, conduct activities in the shade.
  • Minimize time spent on playground structures or hot asphalt playgrounds.
One Comment
  1. bressli #

    It seems odd that the state of CT has not set a maximum temperature that would be considered unsafe for school buildings. I have personally worked in classrooms with stifling conditions through several days of record heat without relief and arrived home unwell after taking every precaution for myself and my students. The conditions are not conducive to learning and children and staff have been sent to the hospital due to heat exhaustion and worse. This is a health and safety issue that must be addressed by the state. Leaving these decisions to individual Superintendents has not always been in the best interest of students and teachers.

    June 12, 2017

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