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Philadelphians head to cooling centers and city pools as heat wave intensifies

Families flock to Philadelphia cooling centers and city pools to chill out during heat wave
Families flock to Philadelphia cooling centers and city pools to chill out during heat wave 02:01

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- On Saturday, Philadelphians were doing what they could to beat the heat. Twelve-year-old Shaniyah Chandler spent the afternoon inside Cecil B. Moore Library with her mom and siblings, because she said it was unbearable to be outside.

"It's so hot out there!" Chandler said. "You be sweating, you need water, you need a fan!"

Thankfully, Chandler could find those things inside Cecil B. Moore Library, one of Philadelphia's cooling centers. During this heat wave, the City of Philadelphia's Public Health Department opened more than 150 cooling centers, which spokesperson James Garrow said was a record.

"The idea behind these is it gives people a place to go, cool off, drop their body temperature a little bit, and make it through the heat wave," Garrow said. "Those are comprised of libraries, recreation centers, older adult centers, pools and spray grounds."

Dr. Stacey Kallem, a pediatrician, serves as the City's Maternal, Child and Family Health director. She wanted to stress that during this heat wave, it's especially important to not leave your child in a car unattended.

"Because even within minutes, that car can get dangerously, dangerously hot and lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion for a child," she said.

Garrow said it's also important to check on your older neighbors.

"Older folks don't feel the heat as well as younger folks, so they may not know that they're getting overheated," Garrow said.

The library got quite crowded because a nearby outdoor event for families moved inside, due to the heat. Library supervisor Drew Birden said when temperatures rise, more people come through the doors.

"We are happy to provide a space and get everybody out of the heat for a while," Birden said.

Mothers like Yazmyne Johson say they appreciate it.

"It's great that the library stays open, especially in times of extreme heat. It gives a lot of people places to go," she said.

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