Letter: High temps, outdoor lunch hours put students at risk - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: High temps, outdoor lunch hours put students at risk

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:02 pm | Updated: 1:06 pm, Wed Aug 21, 2013.

Every year they start school earlier which inevitably means extremely high outdoor temperatures.

I have a concern about lunch hour at Mesa High. It is my understanding sophomores, juniors, and seniors all eat in the same lunch hour. This is approximate 2,800 to 3,000 students. By the time my son gets to the lunch room/cafeteria, it is always jammed packed. The overflow area by the cafeteria and the covered area between the auditorium and main office entrance are also full. He states there is not enough shaded areas where he can sit and eat.

My concern is that it has been is 105 to 110 degrees and these kids have an hour lunch, and are being forced to spend it in the hot sun because there is not enough shaded areas. It is wrong to force high school students who are working hard to get good grades to sit out in the hot sun.

High temperatures and humidity does not allow for the proper regulation of internal body temperature through sweating. Spending a few minutes in the sun is draining but repeated exposure can lead to temporary even serious health issues such as stomach ulcers, burning sensation in the eyes, weakness and lethargy, dizziness or fainting, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke, heat rash, and/or headaches.

Something needs to be done. I am not sure the school’s options, but I am sure I wouldn’t want to be called to the school because my son fainted due to heat stress.

Theresa Bigelow


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