Stephen Ellison

Dangerous Heat Forcing Youth Camps to Be Wary, Improvise

Dangerously hot temperatures this week have prompted local summer camps to make a few changes and take some extra precautions.

Parents also are wary of the rising mercury for children who are scheduled to be outdoors for a good part of the day. Jeri Vasquez said she packed some extra water bottles for her son’s busy day of soccer in the morning and baseball in the afternoon.

"I keep checking the weather and see, oh 98! Great, that will be fun," Vazquez said.

On Monday in the South Bay, temperatures reached into the upper 90s and even triple digits in some areas for the second straight day. Tuesday provided a bit of relief as temperatures dropped 5-10 degrees, but there was still an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service that is in effect until Thursday night.

Vazquez's son, 12-year-old Jameson, admitted he didn’t drink enough water at practice Monday and came home with a headache.

"It was hot, and I get really sweaty," he said. "We get a lot of water breaks."

Jameson's coaches at World Cup Soccer Camp in Santa Clara said they’re making sure all the kids stay as cool as possible and hydrated.

"During breaks, they are required to sit in the shade," coach Julianna Moura said. "If anyone is out in the sun, they are required to sit in the shade. It’s too hot."

Moura said when it’s hot, kids get water breaks at least every 10 minutes.

Other South Bay kids camps organizers say the heat is forcing them inside. Aby Ryan, founder and CEO of Athena Camps in Campbell, said any campers who need a break from the heat can enjoy the air conditioning in the teachers lounge. But for the most part, "it’s dance party business as usual."

"We adjust the art project to the afternoon and sports in the morning when it’s cooler," Ryan said. "We bring out the tents, spray bottles and the water balloons. We have extra water around all the time."

Athena Camps and World Cup said they hadn’t had any serious issues with children feeling sick or showing symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely, expert say. They advise people to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, if possible, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

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