The hottest three days on record are set to have Sydney sizzling this weekend, with some parts of NSW predicted to hit an insanely unbearable 46 degrees. With temperatures soaring, parents are questioning how school children can be asked to cope with extreme heat in the classroom and still learn.
People from colder parts of the world may be familiar with ‘snow days’- when children are given a day off school because of snowfall or inclement weather. Well, in NSW we have the opposite problem, with soaring temperatures causing trouble in the classroom. In some parts of far west NSW, schools even have ‘Heat Week’, when it’s too hot to attend class. Now a petition at change.org by Kick Goals Australia is making the case to Education Minister Robert Stokes for air conditioning in every school.
“Over the last week I have recorded the temperature inside an upstairs classroom,” the petition reads. “This classroom is made of brick with a metal roof. ”
The thermometer readings were listed as follows:
- Monday 30 Jan 2017 – 39 degrees
- Tuesday 31 Jan 2017 – 42 degrees
- Wednesday 1 Feb 2017 – 34 degrees
- Thursday 2 Feb 2017 – 33 degrees
- Friday 3 Feb 2017 – 38 degrees
Teachers and students with medical conditions, such as diabetes, suffer from the heat terribly. People with diabetes may need to increase their intake of fluids in hot weather, drinking water regularly through the day. One of the major concerns regarding diabetes and hot weather is the risk of blood sugar levels rising or falling and causing hypoglycemia (hypos) or hyperglycemia.
What are the risks from hot weather?
- heat stress
- heat intolerance
- heat stroke
- hives/heat rash
Diseases & Disorders affected by heat:
- Themoregulatory disorders
- Thyroid conditions
- Asthmatics suffer from poor airflow
- Neurological disorders
- Anhidrosis or hypohydrosis is a dysfunction in which a person is unable to sweat when they are hot. Anhidrosis refers to the complete absence of sweating, while hypohidrosis is when a person sweats less than normal.
Here’s what the petition is asking:
“So Mr Stokes I am writing this petition to ask that you consider installing air-conditioning in all NSW schools that do not have it already. If you are a concerned parent please sign this petition and share it. Enough is enough. No amount of frozen water bottles or frozen ice packs will help your child gain quality education. It comes down to their environment in which they are learning. We all know how much nicer it is when we are cool, whether it is in the shopping centre or down at the beach with a nice sea breeze. Just image having to work with no air-conditioning (if you don’t already) but not having the maturity to be able to cope? That’s what it is like for your children.”