Stay Cool

Emily Tipping picture

Here in Illinois, on this first day of summer, we’re in the middle of a heat wave, stretching from the Midwest all the way through New England, and records are falling. In Caribou, Maine, the last day of spring saw the highest high temperature for any day of the year, at 96 degrees. That same day, Burlington, Vt., saw its all-time warmest low temperature, at 80 degrees.

In short, it’s already hot out there, and it’s not yet July as I sit here and write to you, dear reader. 

Hot daytime temperatures added to high humidity and high overnight lows can create a dangerous situation, raising the risk of heat illness. 

It’s no joke. In 2018, 1,008 Americans died due to heat exposure. In 2021, heat-related deaths were up to 1,600, and provisional data from the CDC, which tracks heat-related illness on a daily and weekly basis, revealed that 1,714 deaths in 2022 were due to “heat-related” causes.

Recreation, sports and fitness professionals who work with folks in the great outdoors on the hottest days of summer must take great care in the heat, ensuring that exercisers and athletes are staying hydrated and not exerting themselves to a dangerous point of no return. Likewise, those who employ outdoor workers—groundskeepers, construction crews and more—must ensure those employees are able to cool down.   

Further, park and recreation facilities, aquatic venues, recreation centers do a great service, providing their surrounding communities with myriad ways to beat the heat. Outside, there’s the tried-and-true community swimming pools, as well as splash pads, helping folks cool off and relax by immersing themselves—or just splashing around in—water. Indoors, recreation centers, Ys, fitness clubs and more offer comfortable air-conditioned spaces, and some even convert into cooling centers to help the most vulnerable get a break from the heat. 

How are you helping your community stay cool this summer?



Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management
[email protected]



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