Friday, July 13, 2007

Playground Heat Solution : Misters

With year-round schools in session, kids are spending recess in sometimes scorching heat. Some schools are looking into ways to limit sun and heat exposure. With year-round schools in session around the nation some people are concerned about kids being outside in the extreme heat at recess. That has some school officials across the nation looking for ways to block out the bright sun.

Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer, Retired Principal from E.Hale Curran Elementary School in Murrieta, CA, and Peaceful Playgrounds owner suggests that the solution is misters. High pressure pumps stainless steel mistlines and brass misting nozzles produce microscopic droplets of water that cools the surrounding air up to 30 degrees. Curran installed the misters in covered structures after Murrieta transitioned schools to year round in the early 90's. It is not uncommon for temps to reach 105 degrees regularly during the months of July-September in the Murrieta which is about 50 miles from Palm Springs. "The misters provide much needed relief from the sweltering summer sun and were economical as well. Misters use little water and are inexpensive to install, " according to Bossenmeyer. "It is well documented that students have a great deal of difficulty regulating physical activity in the heat. Many students play hard and get sick. We found that the students would self regulate and go under the shade structures and cool off once the misters were installed."

Water bottles, sunscreen, hats and verbal reminders are all a part of keeping kids safe in summer sun.