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Extreme Heat

Time spent outdoors is an important part of the school day. Children should be exposed to fresh air and exercise. Time spent outdoors allows students an opportunity to engage in activities that allow them to relax from the structure of the classroom for a short while. However, there are times when it is not safe for students to be outside.

Kirkwood Schools will use the guidelines below as a guide for when school recess, other outdoor physical activity, or physical education classes should be modified. 

Conditions that may be considered in the determination: 

  • Temperature Humidity 
  • Heat index 
  • Age of Students 
  • Length of time outdoors 
  • Adequacy of clothing of the children. 
  • Condition of the playground 
  • Air quality 

Recess & Outdoor Physical Activity 

  • When the heat index is below 95 degrees, time outdoors does not need to be limited.
  • When the heat index is between 95 and 99 degrees, we will limit outdoor time to 10 minutes.
  • When the heat index is above 100 degrees, there will be no scheduled time outdoors. 

Heat index guidance

Additionally, school staff should provide students with a water break before and after recess. Any student who shows signs of heat exhaustion or overheating, should be allowed a water break during the recess period. 

School staff should be aware of medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy (seizure), allergy, medications etc. which puts students at a high risk of heat illness. These conditions could be intensified if exercising in hot weather; however, there is no reason to limit students' participation, unless a known risk is obvious or the parent has advised the school that their child should not participate. 

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 

The athletic trainer should monitor temperatures throughout the day to ensure our extracurricular activities are operating in a way that is safe and in compliance with Missouri State High School Activities Association guidelines. Coaches will communicate directly with teams on schedule or location modifications as necessary.   

Additional Safety Tips

  • Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
  • Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  • Don't get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult.