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Greenwich Students Keep Cool Despite Heat

With soaring temperatures predicted for the next few days, Greenwich students such as Lindsay Erickson and Jessie Schelz are keeping cool thanks to the air conditioning in all the town's schools.

“All the classrooms are air-conditioned, but sometimes it’s almost too cold,” said Schelz, a freshman at Greenwich High School. She was sitting under a shady tree outside the school sipping water on Tuesday. Erickson said that outside of school, she regularly visits Tod’s Point to beat the heat.

Wednesday is predicted to reach a high of 93 degrees, with a widespread haze and an air quality alert from 2 to 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Thursday is expected to have a high of 96 degrees, including scattered showers and thunderstorms from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Greenwich High School nurse Mary Keller said she has few concerns about heat-related illnesses at the school because of the air conditioning. “For students who play sports, the coaches are all well-trained for any issues that may arise because of the heat,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being here because it is so comfortable.”

All classrooms are air-conditioned, said Kim Eves, communications director for Greenwich Public Schools. However, air conditioning systems in gyms, auditoriums and cafeterias vary from building to building. Fans and open windows or doors are used as the main source of cooling for those areas. Administrative offices are air-conditioned throughout the district and the Board of Education building has window units rather than a central air system.

“The only issue with systems may come up if there were a power outage,” said Eves, adding the district recently hired a licensed HVAC mechanic to troubleshoot any problems with the units.

The Greenwich Department of Health suggests a few tips for staying healthy in the heat:

• Keep children and pets inside, except for brief visits outdoors. Always avoid direct sunlight.

• If you don’t have to go out, stay indoors. Spend time in air-conditioning, if possible. Electric fans can be used to exhaust air from rooms. Do not use them to blow air on yourself.

• Avoid strenuous activities as much as possible. Early morning and evening hours are best if you must exercise.

• Drink plenty of fluids regardless of your activities. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or those with large amounts of sugar and salt. Those who are on a restricted fluid intake should check with their physician.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.

• Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.

• Don’t leave food items in the car or outdoors – food spoils quickly.

• Take a cool shower, bath or move into an air-conditioned space to cool off.

• Eat light, cool, easy to digest foods.

• Rest often in shady areas, especially if you are working outdoors.

• Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen with UV protection of 15 or higher. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.

How are you keeping cool during the heat? Comment below or send responses to ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us .

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