Schools and childcare

Explanation of the problem

During hot days, the temperature in school classrooms and childcare locations can rise significantly. This occurs especially in buildings with poor insulation, those lacking air conditioning or ventilation, classrooms or spaces with flat roofs, and on the top floors. High temperatures in school buildings can lead to health problems. Children may experience fatigue, concentration problems, shortness of breath, headaches, overheating, and dehydration.

In addition, outdoor areas and playgrounds around schools and childcare centres can become hot and unpleasant if they consist of a lot of pavement and have little shade and greenery.

Information and maps for better understanding

Basic maps according to the standardized stress test

  • Detailed heat map of the perceived temperature on a hot day Climate Impact Atlas) → to determine which playgrounds and areas around schools are most at risk of heat stress and to identify areas where no cooling can be found.
  • Map showing the number of warm nights per year (Climate Impact Atlas) → provides insight into the number of warm nights in the built-up area, now and in the future. If it doesn’t cool down outside at night, it becomes more challenging to keep schools and childcare centres comfortably cool.

Additional maps

  • Map showing the number of summer or tropical days now and in the future (Climate Impact Atlas) → gives an indication of the increase in the problem.
  • Maps with information about buildings (such as construction year and energy labels) → to estimate which schools and childcare centres may become uncomfortably warm.
  • Overview of locations of schools and childcare centres.

Some measures and guidelines

  • Building adjustments such as:
      • Sun protection (preferably outside than inside) and installing overhangs to prevent excessive heat from entering (especially important in well-insulated buildings with a lot of sunlight).
      • Implementing active or passive ventilation.
      • Green/blue roofs and facades to prevent internal climate warming.
  • Adjustments to playgrounds:
      • Creating additional shade on the playground and establishing green playgrounds.
      • Setting up drinking water points.
  • Other measures:
      • Establishing and using a heat wave protocol.
      • Engaging in quiet games, staying in the shade, or playing water games.
      • Adjusting sports days.
      • Implementing a hot weather schedule.
      • Drinking more water.
      • Protecting against the sun (hats, sunscreen).
  • See also tips from the Public Health Service Environment (GGD Leefomgeving)(in Dutch), tips from the Public Health Service Amsterdam (GGD) for schools and childcare, and tips from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM): Day care centres and schools.