Daycare centers try to fight the heat of summer

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As summer moves into the final months, many are trying to beat the heat. Daycare centers are having to grapple with the possibility of not having the children play outside during the day on the hottest days for safety. 

Wee Care Childcare part of the the Family Enrichment Center in Bowling Green, uses a chart that accounts for the daily humidity, heat index and temperature. Using these three indicators, workers are able to determine if it is too hot to allow children to play outside and can plan accordingly. 

This is not usually a good thing, as less time outside means less time for children to develop gross motor skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a sharp increase in fine motor skills in children, often times ahead for their given ages due to the amount of time spent on screens. There has been a sharp decline in gross motor skills. Care workers are now presented with the issue three years later of devising ways to allow children to catch up their gross motor with their fine motor skills, but the heat makes this difficult, and many facilities cannot afford to build indoor play facilities. 

“We can have 12 kids in there [classroom], and with that many kids in a closed up space for a long period of time, without that little break to see outside and different scenery, they get bored easy,” Jensine Mitchell, a care worker at Wee Care, said.