Parents, construction workers should be extra cautious in extreme heat

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - South Georgia and South Carolina are dealing with hot temperatures and high humidity - even before summer officially begins.

Dangerous heat and humidity are likely over the next few days. The WTOC Weather Team has declared Wednesday and Thursday "First Alert Weather Days."

Pediatricians are warning parents to take some summer precautions to keep the little ones hydrated. Even on a hot day, your child can handle the heat. It's good for them to be outside. It's good to be playing and away from screens and indoor activities, but with that, the heat is definitely something to be aware of. Most parents are buckling down on the upcoming heat wave, making hydration and shaded breaks a must for their kids.

"We definitely bring a water cooler with us everywhere we go and all of the girls have their own water bottles, so we can continuously refill wherever we go," said Alana Auslander-Price, parent.

The warm temperatures can also warm up metal playground equipment fast.

"Kids naturally want to go for the equipment and they don't want to touch and check, they just want to go right on it."

Dr. Spitalnick, a local pediatrician, says it can injure your kids.

"Skin burns are the most common consequence, so just like touching something that is extremely hot, just like touching a hot stove, just like touching a hot pan could cause a burn."

Doctors say a simple check of the equipment before your child uses it should decide if it's a good day for your family at the playground.

"Before they get on it, give it a touch. Touch the metal, touch the slide, things that are metal, to make sure if it's comfortable to your hand, then it's okay for your kid."

Construction workers and others who work outside are also catching the brunt of the high temps.

It's all in a days work for workers who installed a new roof on Broughton Street on Tuesday. It doesn't matter the roof type - professional roofers say they all get hot up there.

"It's kind of two-fold. The black surface roofing absorbs the heat, so you have a lot more radiant heat coming from the roof, but the white surfaces will just radiate the UV and ultraviolet, and it's just about as bad," said Daniel Acedez, RPI Roofing.

Working on a roof is a tough job, but doing it in the summertime is even tougher. Experts say it adds about 20 degrees to the heat index.

"Average temperature is 95 degrees. It's usually 10-20 degrees hotter on the roof, so it's a drastic change. If there isn't any wind blowing, it only intensifies the sun's effect," Acedez said.

The roofer says tips like wearing long sleeves and long pants can translate to any job working in the sun this summer.

"As long as you plan ahead and start your days earlier, keep Gatorade and water, keep everyone hydrated, take breaks. The most important part - get out of the sun. You can still accomplish a lot."

Most have heard of these simple tips, but medical professionals say do not underestimate how quickly the heat can turn up.

We found some tourists and locals looking for a sweet way to keep cool in the heat - getting ice cream from Leopold's on Broughton Street. The business hands out ice water to customers waiting in line to help them stay cool.

"We've been going in and out of stores, drinking our water, getting ice cream, just been bopping inside the air conditioning," said Kate Rutledge, Des Moines, Iowa.

Enjoy the summer, but whatever you do, always be heat smart.

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