CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wednesday was one of the hottest days of 2017 and it is only going to get hotter.
"I definitely feel it, even in the shade," said Jade Rucker. She took her 5 year old daughter Zoe to Freedom Park.
"It is normally very crowded when you come here," she said. Zoe and two other children were free to run around all they want, having the playground all to themselves.
"So hot," said Demaria Miller,10. Covered in sweat, he wiped his forehead and ran for the slide one more time.
"They don't care they just want to be outside playing around. It could be a 100 degrees and they still want to play," said his mother, Krista Miller.
"Kids don't understand the dangers, so parents and caretakers need to understand them," said Novant Physician, Dr. Charles Bregier. "Brief periods of play outside are fine, but bring them back in give them a big glass of water or some Gatorade."
Dr. Bregier says parents should limit their child's time outdoors to an hour and to drink a lot of water or Gatorade to replace the fluids lost through sweat.
"On a day like this, you can lose up to 2 quarts of sweat in an hour," he explained.
Too much time in the heat can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be deadly.
"If you start feeling bad, headache, lightheaded and just not feeling well. It's probably an early sign of dehydration and time to get out of the heat," said Dr. Bregier.
However, some people don't have anywhere to go to cool off. Dr. Bregier says hot days can be very dangerous for older adults.
"Elderly may be living on a fixed income and think I don't have enough money to air condition this place," he said.
Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation is currently distributing free fans to anyone over 59 with proof of age and address at recreation and senior centers countywide. The fans were made available through a grant from Duke Energy. They limit one fan per senior.
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