Pools Not Best Place to Escape Heat

July 17, 2009 8:38:37 PM PDT
With this kind of weather, air quality is also a major issue Friday across the Valley. And with the pollution comes a warning about a popular way to cool down. Action News reporter John-Thomas Kobos shows us why swimming pools may not be a great option in the afternoon, at a time when people need to cool off most.

Frank H. Ball community center is a popular destination when escaping from the heat. You can hide inside or splash around outside a pool. However, according to one doctor we spoke to the time you decide to swim can greatly impact your health.

When the temperature outside pushes the mercury into the triple digits a pool seems to offer a quick cool down.

"It's free to come over here. So it's a good thing," said Leslie Green of Fresno. 11 Fresno city pools like this one at the Mosqueda community center open to the public for free when the temperature hits 105. However, when it gets that hot harmful pollutants build up in the Central Valley air and can enter the lungs.

"All the mucus get's plugged and it obstructs the bronchial tubes," said Dr. A.M. Aminian.

Dr. A.M. Aminian warns you should limit outdoor activity and even play time at pools.

"Between 12 noon and 6pm when the temperature is the highest being outdoors and doing physical activities you're not getting enough oxygen," said Aminian.

The pollution during the peak of the summer heat leads to an increase of patients at emergency rooms across the valley. An official from Community Regional Medical Center said about 400 people walk through the hospital doors daily, with either difficulty breathing or asthma issues.

"We don't want anybody to get sick or over heated out there," said Shaun Schaefer.

Schaefer manages services for the city like this cooling center at Ted C. Wills. Schaefer said between the 6 cooling centers in town about 300 residents will visit in one day.

This community center is popular among the senior crowd living on a fixed income especially when the Central Valley heats up.

"My bills have gone up drastically at home so I try to stay here longer," said Arthur Pino of Fresno.

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