STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WTVO) — Mother Nature is certainly throwing new and returning students a rude welcome to the school year this week as temperatures soar to near-triple digits.
Extreme heat can pose a health risk, especially for vulnerable groups like children and those with preexisting medical conditions. School administrators say they are doing everything they can to minimize the danger to students and staff.
As much as we can possibly do to be proactive, to prepare, to create that environment for staff and students, to be able to do their best these next couple of days, we’re going to make sure that we we continue to do that and communicate that out,” said Dr. Joe Mullikin, assistant superintendent of Meridian Community Unit School District #223.
Mullikin says precautions are already being implemented, including running air conditioning units as much as possible and keeping blinds pulled down to limit the sun’s warming rays.
“We certainly want to make sure that we’re preparing and looking and seeing what precautions and what additional things we may need to put in place, like extra water breaks, potentially keeping kids inside if it’s going to be too hot and any of those things,” said Mullikin, who compared to approach to prepartions for extreme cold.
Stillman Valley High School athletics and activities director Henry Robison believes one way to keep kids safe in the heat is to simply listen to them.
“Letting kids know that it’s okay to talk to us, you know, you know your body better than anybody else knows your body,” said Robison. “You thirsty to the point where you can’t quench your thirst a little bit dizzy. Maybe you’re you’re equilibrium. You feel your balance is a little off. So, you know, like I said, encourage kids to talk.”
Administrators are also encouraging parents to pick students up from school during the heat wave, if possible, as well as providing extra water on buses.
“We look forward to Friday when not only is there football, but the temperatures drop a little bit for us,” said Mullikin.