Palm Beach County campers focus on hydration, breaks to beat the heat

'Very important' to replace electrolyte and salt content, says HCA Florida Palms West Hospital doctor
Children play basketball at Brighthouse Day Camp in west Boynton Beach on June 28, 2023.PNG
Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-29 06:02:09-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — With temperatures feeling like the triple digits, people in South Florida are doing whatever they can to beat the heat.

If you are going to be outside for any length of time this summer, you need some tricks to stay cool. And the kids at Brighthouse Day Camp in west Boynton Beach. know just what to do.

"Drink your water" is a familiar phrase at Brighthouse Day Camp in the heat of summer.

"I've lived in Florida my whole life, but still it's really hot," camper Dylan Henn said. "I don't really remember it being that hot before."

But that doesn't sideline these kids from their favorite part of camp, the basketball court.

"I'm not the type of guy to get tired easily, but lately it's been tiring," camper Ethan Wallace said.

"You can see it on the campers faces, how hot it is. How red and how fast it happens. It happens within minutes," said Yale David, the owner of Brighthouse Day Camp.

Owners Yale and Jodi David always have that South Florida sunshine on their minds.

"Safety is our number one priority," Yale David said. "We want to make sure everyone is having a good time, but they are safe while they are doing it."

The camp alternates indoor and outdoor activities with a special emphasis on indoor shows and activities in the afternoon, like a fan favorite wrestling show, captivating the hundreds of campers filling the gym.

"All day, the most important thing is staying hydrated, using sunscreen, trying to stay in the shade as much as you can, constantly going to the water fountain," Jodi David said. "You don't want to get overheated. So it's the number one thing from flagpole to the end of carpool. It doesn't matter. Drink, drink, drink. It's the most important."

That critical message is echoed by Dr. Matthew Holz, the assistant medical director for the emergency department at HCA Florida Palms West Hospital. Holz said hydrating before, during, and after spending time outside is key.

"If you are doing any labor that is going to require sweating and losing that salt content, then you do need to replace that with Gatorade, Pedialyte, vitamin water, Powerade," Holz said. "It's very important to replace that electrolyte and salt content."

Holz advises South Floridians to pay attention to what time of day you are outside.

"If you are working out or exercising, you want to make sure you are not doing it at the peak of day. So the hours of 10 to 2, it's going to be the hottest out there," Holz said.

Holz said signs of heat exhaustion can include muscle cramping, passing out, feeling lightheaded, tunnel vision, pale and sweaty skin, headaches, and extreme weakness. He said if you experience any of these symptoms, you need to take a break.

"Hydrate with anything you have available. If you have water available, that's good. If you have Powerade, Gatorade that's good, too. There's no right or wrong answer for what you should replenish with. It's just you need to replenish that water intake," Holz said. "If the heat index is greater than 90, you should be taking a 10-minute break at least every two hours. When it's greater than 100 degrees, at that point in time you want to take a 15-minute break every hour."

As far as drinking water, Holz said four to six glasses of water either before or during being outside.

"That doesn't even include the after. You should be adding on another two to four glasses after," Holz said.

So while the kids at Brighthouse Day Camp will keep bouncing between the court and the water breaks, some prefer to stay in the air conditioning.

"It's always scorching hot out here, so I like it when we go inside," camper Mason Miranda said.