Heat Wave Affects Kids

May 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Action News viewers are painfully aware temperatures could easily crawl into the 100's.Early Friday kids from Reedley and Orange Cove learned not just about the benefits of drinking water but how to protect themselves from drowning in it!

"We saved three people out of the river. Out in front of Reedley beach," warned Battalion Chief Tim Garrison.

All it takes is one accident to ruin the fun that kids can have playing in the water.

That's why Reedley emergency responders demonstrated a water rescue along the King's river.

"There's a lot of stuff in the river that will get you hung up and will drown you," said Garrison.

Eight hundred 6th graders got hands-on experience learning the benefits of wearing a life-jacket and how to rescue a friend if caught in the cold currents of any river in the Valley.

Garrison said: "They can go a certain distance and not realize it but their body's already succumbing to the cold water rather than the stream and the current itself."

While some kids will jump into the water to cool off others will drink it to cool down.

Everyone attending Clovis Unified's elementary track and field event had water bottles close by.

But before these kids hit the track running Kelly Avants was back at school district headquarters monitoring air quality. Avants said: "We knew if we were going to do that we need to do it at the coolest point of the day when the air quality was at its best."

Avants says on days when the air quality index is at unhealthy levels, she'll check the air district's website for hourly changes.

"We don't want to endanger our kids but we also don't want to go overboard the other way and not give them the opportunity to participate," said Avants.

That meant kids still had an opportunity to compete and take home the gold.

The Clovis Unified school board did make some changes for the meet today based on hourly readings.

Some events were pushed up to an earlier time when the air quality was better.


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