Fun in the sun can be dangerous - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fun in the sun can be dangerous


Plenty of people cooled off at Dubuque's Flora Park Pool Monday afternoon, but the manager said folks are still susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion.

At the pool Monday, there was one hot topic of conversation.

"We're out here today because we love to come to the pool and it's hot, and it will cool us off," Dubuque mom Jennifer Lynch said, with her three boys beside her.

For her 17th birthday Monday, Jenna Knockel got a scorcher.

"Needs to cool down a lot!" Knockel said, lounging in the pool.

She and her friend Peyton Smith were trying to beat the heat.

"It's not going to work with me today. Redheads do not work well with this heat. They get sunburned really bad," redhead Smith said, laughing.

The Flora Park Pool has seen as many as 2,500 hundred people at one time this season, manager Brad Gilligan said, but the heat wave may break that record.

"Our biggest concern is heat stroke and heat exhaustion," Gilligan said. "We've had a couple of those this year, where people have gone down, kind of blacked out a little bit. So we have to keep an eye on people, not only in the water, but sunbathing and what looks like they're sleeping."

Heat precautions are of special concern for older folks, according to Joan Ness, a caregiver specialist with the Scenic Valley Area Agency on Aging.

"When we get older, our ability to detect our thirst isn't as strong as it is when we are younger," she said.

Experts suggest checking in on older neighbors, especially if they don't have central air conditioning.

"There aren't always relatives around to check on them. That's when neighbors come in," Ness said.

Officials with the City of Dubuque and the county are closely monitoring the weather conditions. As of Monday, they hadn't yet decided to open cooling centers.

As of Monday afternoon, appliance stores throughout Dubuque were either completely sold out of air conditioning units or were running very low. Experts recommend cooling off with a cool shower, with fans or by heading to a public, air-conditioned place such as a library or shopping mall.

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