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Keeping Kids Cool at School

There is a heat advisory for parts of Connecticut this afternoon and, with temperatures forecasted to rise into the 90s, some schools are sending 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 today’s heat, 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.
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