There was no breeze, and the high temperature hit 103. For many families, that made Sunday afternoon a time to get out and go to the pool. Wichitans Carolynn and Kris Sauer joined dozens of others and brought the kids — four children and five nieces — to the Richard A. Devore South Branch YMCA water park.
"We needed to get out for a while," Carolynn Sauer said.
"You ready to go splash and splash?" she cooed at her son, 16-month-old Ayden. "It's like a big bathtub."
Families turn out early on days like Sunday, said Matthew Girrens, manager on duty Sunday afternoon at the South YMCA.
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"I've seen that people wait in line at 12:45 p.m.," Girrens said. The outdoor pool opens at 1 p.m.
"They are ready to get in there right away."
But there's more to keeping cool than taking a swim, said YMCA lifeguard Sharon McArthur.
Her advice: "Hydration, hydration, hydration."
McArthur carries a 40-ounce insulated water jug at the pool. She fills it between five and seven times a day, she said.
To keep swimmers safe, the South YMCA also takes a 10-minute safety break around 3:30 p.m. Everyone gets out of the pool and into the shade to cool off, reapply sunscreen and take a drink.
"It surprises me how many people get out in this heat," McArthur said.
By 4 p.m. Sunday, Wichitan Alicia Salazar had her family cooling off in the shade.
After floating down the lazy river on inner tubes and splashing the kiddie pool with her son J.J. Meinert and nephew Austin Cuevas — both 3 years old — ice cream was next on the agenda.
Two and a half hours in the heat was enough for the family, which also included her husband Marco Salazar and 15-year-old foster son Abraham Canas.
"It's not easy sitting out in the heat for so long, though, because it takes it out of you," Salazar said.