Archive for July, 2006

Heat Illness

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Our bodies create a tremendous amount of internal heat. We normally cool ourselves by sweating and radiating heat through our skin. Under certain circumstances, such as unusually high temperatures, high humidity, or vigorous exercise in hot weather, this natural cooling system may begin to fail, allowing internal heat to build up to dangerous levels. The result may be heat illness, which can come in the form of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke.Please be aware of the heat the next few days at camp!

From Kids Health Newsletter:

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are brief, severe cramps in the muscles of the legs, arms, or abdomen that may occur during or after vigorous exercise in extreme heat. The sweating that occurs with vigorous exercise causes the body to lose salts and fluids. And the low level of salts causes the muscles to cramp. Children are particularly susceptible to heat cramps when they haven’t been drinking enough fluids. Although painful, heat cramps aren’t serious.

What to Do:
Most heat cramps don’t require special treatment. A cool place, rest, and fluids should ease your child’s discomfort. Massaging cramped muscles may also help.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a more severe heat illness that can occur when a person in a hot climate or environment hasn’t been drinking enough fluids. Symptoms may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Clammy skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Hyperventilation (rapid breathing)
  • Irritability

What to Do:

  • Bring the child indoors or into the shade.
  • Loosen or remove the child’s clothing.
  • Encourage the child to eat and drink.
  • Call the child’s doctor for further advice. If the child is too exhausted or ill to eat or drink, intravenous fluids may be necessary.

If left untreated, heat exhaustion may escalate into heatstroke, which can be fatal.


The most severe form of heat illness, heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. The body loses its ability to regulate its own temperature. Body temperature can soar to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1 degrees Celsius) or even higher, leading to brain damage or even death if it isn’t quickly treated. Prompt medical treatment is required to bring the body temperature under control.

Factors that increase the risk for heatstroke include overdressing and extreme physical exertion in hot weather with inadequate fluid intake.

Heatstroke can also happen when a child is left in, or becomes accidentally trapped in, a car on a hot day. When the outside temperature is 93 degrees Fahrenheit (33.9 degrees Celsius), the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.7 degrees Celsius) in just 20 minutes, quickly raising a child’s body temperature to dangerous levels.

What to Do:

Call for emergency medical help if your child has been outside in the sun exercising for a long time and shows one or more of the following symptoms of heatstroke:

  • flushed, hot, dry skin with no sweating
  • Temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees Celsius) or higher
  • Severe, throbbing headache
  • Weakness, dizziness, or confusion
  • Sluggishness or fatigue
  • Seizure
  • decreased responsiveness
  • Loss of consciousness

While waiting for help:

  • Get the child indoors or into the shade.
  • Undress the child and sponge or douse him or her with cool water.
  • Do not give fluids.

For concise fact sheet that is downloadable;

Also an excellent guide:

Parents’ and Coaches’ Guide to Dehydration and Other Heat Illnesses in Children (National Athletic Trainers’ Association) – Links to PDF


Monday, July 17th, 2006

Why have the arts integrated into your afterschool program? Read about the new Guggenheim Study!


Guggenheim Study Suggests Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills


In an era of widespread cuts in public-school art programs, the question has become increasingly relevant: does learning about paintings and sculpture help children become better students in other areas?

A study to be released today by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum suggests that it does, citing improvements in a range of literacy skills among students who took part in a program in which the Guggenheim sends artists into schools. The study, now in its second year, interviewed hundreds of New York City third graders, some of whom had participated in the Guggenheim program, called Learning Through Art, and others who did not.

The study found that students in the program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning — than did students who were not in the program. The children were assessed as they discussed a passage in a children’s book, Cynthia Kadohata’s “Kira-Kira,” and a painting by Arshile Gorky, “The Artist and His Mother.”

The results of the study, which are to be presented today and tomorrow at a conference at the Guggenheim, are likely to stimulate debate at a time when the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind has led schools to increase class time spent on math and reading significantly, often at the expense of other subjects, including art.

Yet the study also found that the program did not help improve students’ scores on the city’s standardized English language arts test, a result that the study’s creators said they could not fully explain. They suggested that the disparity might be related to the fact that the standardized test is written while the study’s interviews were oral.

“We purposely chose to have students talk to us instead of writing because we thought they would show language skills, not purely reading and writing skills,” said Johanna Jones, a senior associate with Randi Korn and Associates, a museum research company conducting the study over three years with a $640,000 grant from the federal Department of Education.

Ms. Jones said that the study, which graded students’ responses as they talked about the painting and the passage from the book, found essentially the same results during the 2005-6 school year as it did during the 2004-5 school year. “We really held our breath waiting for this year’s results, and they turned out to almost exactly the same — which means that last year’s don’t seem to have been an anomaly,” she said. “That’s a big deal in this world.”

While it is unknown exactly how learning about art helps literacy skills, she said, “the hypothesis is that the use of both talking about art and using inquiry to help students tease apart the meaning of paintings helps them learn how to tease apart the meanings of texts, too. They apply those skills to reading.”

The categories of literacy and critical thinking skills were devised by the research company with the help of a group of advisers from Columbia University, New York University and the city’s Department of Education, among other institutions.

The Guggenheim program, originally called Learning to Read Through the Arts, was created by a museum trustee in 1970, when New York schools were cutting art and music programs. Since it began, it has involved more than 130,000 students in dozens of public schools. The museum dispatches artists who spend one day a week at schools over a 10- or 20-week period helping students and teachers learn about and make art. Groups of students are also taken to the Guggenheim to see exhibitions.

Officials at the Guggenheim said they hoped the study would give ammunition to educators in schools and museums around the country who are seeking more money and classroom time for arts education.

“Basically, this study is a major contribution to the field of art and museum education,” said Kim Kanatani, the Guggenheim’s director of education. “We think it confirms what we as museum education professionals have intuitively known but haven’t ever had the resources to prove.”



The Academy of Achievement puts students into contact with American sports stars, politicians, and other great “thinkers and achievers of the age.” The academy offers teachers a range of educational videos and curricula designed to inspire students while satisfying core educational requirements. For more information, visit


The Independent Film Channel announces a free curriculum program designed for high school English classes. The program — which meets the standards of the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association, among others — integrates film study and video production into the study of English literature, writing, and media. For more information visit