Officials urge caution during outdoor activities amid DMV heatwave

As unrelenting heat hits the DMV, officials are issuing warnings, reminding people of the dangers, and hoping to keep some of the most vulnerable populations safe. 

It's the second week of John McCarthy's Homerun Baseball Camp in D.C. — a longtime favorite and well-attended summer camp for budding little and big leaguers.

They're used to this kind of heat during summer in the District and Coach Mac says there's a routine to keeping his campers safe.

"The key is making sure they get water in the morning and shade breaks in between every three or four innings to cool the body down," McCarthy told FOX 5. "Of course water, the hat, hydration and get in the shade a little bit and get cool... that's one great way to beat the heat."

But not necessarily getting cooled off indoors.

"I prefer to get in the shade and get a little water on the backs of their necks and let them get cool.  I don't like going inside because the A/C can give your body up and down too much," he said. 

On Monday, FOX 5 spoke with a mom whose young son was overcome by the heat during his all-day outdoor soccer camp in Fairfax County. 


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The child’s mom called FOX 5 late in the day to say being outside all day proved too much for him and he was showing signs of heat illness. 

Even with regular breaks from the sun, Joanna Graham says her son isn't going back to this camp.

"I was struggling with the heat yesterday. I don't think folks are able to adapt that quickly to the heat and humidity of this level so I know every family has to make a decision that's right for them but my husband and I decided we were going to withdraw our som from camp," Graham said. "We just didn't feel like it was safe to go and frankly, just knowing there wasn't another option for him to find any relief we didn't think it was worth it.  It's not worth taking that risk with his life."

On Capitol Hill, the Eastern Market Splash Park seems an ideal place to get relief from the heat. Maria Vaquerano was one of the parents there taking steps to keep her child safe.

"Applying sunscreen, making sure that they’re hydrated, a lot of water drinking," Vaquerano said. 

FOX 5 asked Clint Osborn, head of D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency about heat safety.

"The key thing you have to do is protect yourself and your family and watch for symptoms of heat injury. That’s going to be things like lethargy, trouble breathing, headaches, nausea, vomiting and in an extreme case if you stop sweating," Osborn said.

"The biggest thing we want do is stay hydrated and take breaks. That could be getting into the shade.  There’s a real difference between the temperature in a full sun and in the shade. Or if you have those symptoms you can get into air-conditioning but if the symptoms get severe you really want to call 911," he added.