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Doctor provides 'heat safety' tips to keep children cool on the playground this summer

Over the next few days, we'll be feeling the heat, so it's a good time to be thinking about heat safety.

BEAUMONT, Texas — It's summertime. Children are out of school, and ready to play outside.

This is the perfect opportunity for a trip to the park, but this June heat doesn't just apply to the air we breathe.

Hot temperatures can show up on playground equipment as well.

Over the next few days, we'll be feeling the heat, so it's a good time to be thinking about heat safety.

"We like to come to the park,” said grandmother Sandy Davis.

But with temperatures nearing triple digits, safety is a concern.

"For kids? It's a little bit tougher because if they're playing outside, they won't want to stop playing most of the time so they will push themselves until they're exhausted," said family medicine physician Dr. William Pickard with CHRISTUS Health Systems.

Pickard said you have to get them out of the heat for breaks.

"After they're out there for a while, then I make them come in and get in the shade for a while and drink something so they stay hydrated and cool off for a little while," Davis said.

The number one key is hydration.

"Water, Gatorade, cool cups that I have, just something to keep them hydrated," said mother Seunesha Pitre.

Pitre even started making her own Kool-Aid “kool-kups” to keep her kids hydrated.

How do you know when it's time to get in the shade?

"They can get dizzy, too. They may not feel very well and maybe feel nauseous and those are signs that they need to get in the cool and start drinking more water," Pickard said.

In terms of what slide you're going to want to avoid, it's this green one and the dark blue one.

We used a thermometer gun around a playground, taking the temperature of the different colored equipment.

The green equipment came out to be at 148.6 degrees.

A blue slide came in right behind at 140.7 degrees, and the yellow at 114.8 degrees.

The coolest piece of equipment you're probably going to find on a playground is a light pink slide. It’s still 110 degrees.

But the best place to stay is going to be in the shade, and when the sun isn't at its peak yet.

"Starting at like 10:30 in the morning, it starts to get pretty hot. Around here. So, I would say at least from like 11 really until six o'clock," said Pickard.

Pickard also recommends drinking 64 ounces or 8 cups of water every day, even when you're not thirsty.

He said by the time you start feeling thirsty, you're already on your way to being dehydrated.

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