Dehydration is a leading cause of emergency room visits during the summer months. Whether you are constructing a park or improving your community's public spaces, plan to prioritize heat relief.
Water plays a huge role in the body's normal internal functions. Water carries heat away from internal organs and cools the surface of the body through sweat. Improper hydration can lead to heat stroke and even death. The very young and the very old are the most susceptible to heat related illnesses but anyone can become seriously dehydrated in a short time during the hot summer months.
As the heat index climbs it's important for everyone to not only drink plenty of fluids but to also choose a diet with plenty of hydrating fruits and vegetables such as melons, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Of course, you can't control how well your guests prepare to for their day outdoors but you can provide them with plenty of healthy options during their visit. The choice you make will ultimately determine how comfortable and safe your playground or park space will be.
Provide your own water source
Many municipalities have laws regarding the placement of water fountains
and you'll want to consult your state and local laws before beginning any major changes. Whether or not you are required to place them in your outdoor space, you should consider offering frequent water stations. If your space is pet friendly, including combination pet and people fountains will ensure that all your guests have access to clean water.
Don't forget the shade!
Excessive sweating and overheating combine to cause heat sickness. A great way to prevent illnesses related to overexposure is to provide plenty of shade. If you are planning to turn a wooded space into a park or playground you can simply plan your site clearing to preserve healthy trees. Shade structures
are another excellent way to incorporate shade into outdoor spaces. Proper shade can lower outdoor temperatures up to 30 degrees.
Strategically placing shade, along with water fountains, is a great way to encourage people to stay longer and return to your facility more frequently.