LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) - Temperatures in the Coulee Region rose into the upper 80s and low 90s on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the heat index values were several degrees higher making it even more dangerous to be outside.
The heat index is basically how heat and humidity combine to make your body feel. When there is low humidity, sweat easily evaporates off your skin allowing the body to cool easily.
But when there's high humidity, evaporation happens much less readily, and your body is less effective at cooling itself. That's why on a humid day it can feel so much warmer than it actually is.
Sue McNally, Childcare Coordinator for Kids Company in La Crescent said on days when the heat index soars, they adjust outdoor plans to keep everyone safe.
"That's our number one priority is to keep the kids safe," said McNally. "So paying attention to the heat index and keeping track of where that's at and then modify our programming according to that heat."
But McNally says it's also important to pay attention to verbal and non-verbal signs your children are giving you.
"If they're getting a headache, feeling nauseous, stop sweating, feeling cool, then obviously they're starting to suffer from signs of heat exhaustion," said McNally. "We've never gotten to that point. You really need to pay attention to how they're doing, and go from there."
And with heat index values in the mid 90s on Wednesday, children at Kids Company beat the heat inside and at the pool.
"All the kids that want to go to the aquatic center will go to the pool and those who don't will stay inside where it's air conditioned," said McNally.
If you do have to be outdoors in the heat it's important to drink enough fluids, and take a lot of breaks.
The Coulee Region will get a break from the heat starting Thursday but by Sunday highs are forecasted back in the 90s with heat index values even higher.
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