Green Bay parks take precautions due to heat

GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) -- The Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department takes extra precautions with summer programming to keep both kids and staff members safe during this heat wave.

The splash pad at Fisk Park looks enticing on a hot day in Northeastern Wisconsin. It is one way for kids in the Supervised Playground Program to beat the heat.

"We can see anything from some days there's maybe 5 to 10 kids, other days there can be up to 50 or 60 kids," said Scott Ronsmans, a park leader.

The kids tell Action 2 News they show up to the program for one reason.

"I just come out here to play," said Elijah, an 8-year-old participant.

That is what park leaders worry about as the temperatures rise.

"There's heat stroke," said Ronsmans, "there's sun stroke, and of course the kids they'll play until they can't, and they don't know how to regulate themselves."

The Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department keeps a close eye on the forecast to make sure kids like Elijah can have fun while also staying safe. Extra precautions include taking the kids into enclosed shelters where they can play cards, board games, and do other low-impact activities.

"We also encourage parents to use their own discretion," said James Andersen, recreation superintendent. "You don't have to come out if you don't want, but we'll be here to make sure kids are safe, and we'll make sure staff is safe throughout the day."

"We schedule rest breaks. We schedule water breaks," said Ronsmans.

Park leaders meet on Friday morning to talk about their concerns as the heat index rises into the triple digits.

Andersen anticipates serving lunch from the Green Bay Area School District as planned to make sure kids and families stay fed.

"It looks like the heat index right now shows that it's not going to get into triple digits until about 2 o'clock, so once it hits that triple digits though we're definitely going to monitor things, and you know, if we need to shut down we will," said Andersen.

"I have never, ever in my 23 years have heard them talking about closing it down because of heat," said Ronsmans.

Any changes to scheduled activities will be posted on the city website and social media accounts.

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