If your child care space is air conditioned, stay indoors particularly during the hottest hours of the day, typically between the hours of 10am and 4pm.
Don’t rely on fans. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. In fact, fans may increase heat stress at high temperatures. To cool down, use cold single use washcloths or wet paper towels on neck or wrists. Close doors of unused rooms and close curtains or blinds to keep heat out. Limit using your stove and oven to maintain a cooler temperature indoors. Avoid hot or heavy meals since they add heat to your body. Remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Consider your ability to keep children cool, while keeping them safe from COVID-19 when making a decision to operate your child care during extreme heat. Because young children remain unvaccinated, children and their caregivers still need to wear masks. Per Washington State DOH guidance, “All staff, children, and youth five years of age or older must wear cloth face coverings or an acceptable alternative at child care when indoors and when outdoors where a minimum of six feet distancing cannot be maintained.” Consider taking mask breaks outside, in shaded areas where you can keep the children six feet apart. Masks should not be worn during water play when the mask could get wet; try to keep children spaced six feet apart during these times.