Summer camps adapting for safety during heat
COLUMBIA - The heat index could pass 100 degrees on Friday. Columbia summer camps are making plans to keep kids safe in the heat.
Dayton Grover from Camp CoMo Kidz said they have not had dangerous heat yet this year, but have plans in place.
“We’ll be taking the kids swimming,” Grover said.
Grover said campers will be encouraged to hydrate and stay out of direct sun. He also said indoor space will be utilized.
Jay Bradley from Armory Summer Camp said campers will also primarily stay in the Armory facility, aside from trips to Douglass Park for lunch. He said those trips are two to three hours maximum.
“We’re giving the kids frequent hydration breaks, we strongly encourage that all of them bring water bottles,” Bradley said. “We’re obviously going to be monitoring the temperature as much as we can when they’re outside, and if it gets too hot they’re just not going to spend as much time outside.”
Bradley said the staff is trained for these situations.
“Our counselors, they know the signs of certain heat-related illnesses. So, they’ve been instructed to look for things like heat rash, heat exhaustion,” Bradley said.
Armory Summer Camp also has new safety protocols in compliance with CDC guidelines, such as temperature checks for campers and staff every day. He said unless campers are engaged in physical activity, they must maintain six feet distance and avoid contact. Campers over the age of 10 have to wear masks, and Bradley said most children under the age of 10 also choose to wear masks.
“I just want parents to know upfront that we understand and we don’t take lightly the safety of their children,” Bradley said. “We understand that this is a crazy time and there’s a lot going on but the safety of our campers is our number one priority.”
The camp is giving children hand sanitizer anytime they leave a certain area of a building, whenever they touch something, or come in any sort of contact.
Bradley said they’ve had to get creative with activities—instead of playing tag with their hands, they’re using pool noodles.
For updates on Friday's forecast, visit KOMU 8 News's weather page.