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Coachella Valley schools lack shaded structures

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LA QUINTA, Calif. - Summer may be coming to an end, but most of the Coachella Valley saw temperatures Monday reach upwards of 110 degrees

We received an email from a viewer who was concerned about the lack of shade at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in La Quinta.

I drove around the area today and noticed that many schools don't have covered structures for their play equipment, although right around the corner from an elementary school, a park was equipped with a shaded structure over the play set.

Mary Perry, PIO at Desert Sands Unified School District said, "The playgrounds are in areas that are more protected from the sun, and if it really were a safety issue with being on the playground on a hot day, the school would make accommodations so that the kids wont be in an unsafe situation."

Perry said that DSUSD does not plan on implementing shaded structures over their equipment at this time.

"This is the desert and these are the temperatures that we face every year and we need to be cognizant of the safety of the children within those temperature guidelines," said Perry.

Students do have have shaded covers over the designated lunch areas with misters in most cases.

Lunches are also something parents are advised to take extra caution in when packing their student's lunch on hot days.

Here are some lunch tips for excessively hot days from Stephanie Bruce, director of Nutritional Services at PSUSD:

-Pack peanut butter, seeds, whole fruit, crackers, nuts, whole grains, vegetables

-Don't rely on cooling packs, as they will not last as long during excessive heat

-Start hydrating the night before to prepare for a hot day

-Buy lunch from school on hot days

-Be aware of "refrigerate after opening" foods


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