NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The heat is on and keeping cool is a challenge, especially for parents who are struggling to find options for their children.

There’s a heated question that’s troubling parents all across the city as the mercury rises.

“What are we going do with no recreation for you?” one woman asked her 11-year-old son, Nathaniel.

“Just stay home?” Nathaniel said.

“No, that’s not what we wanna do,” his mom said.

Nathaniel’s plan to go away for a two-week sleepaway camp has been canceled. The sprinklers and pool in his Morrisania neighborhood in the Bronx are shut down.

His mom is scrambling for ideas to keep him occupied and cool.

“The parks are open, but there’s really nothing, no PAL. There’s no recreational activities being done, so as far as the children are being concerned, I don’t think there’s enough being done,” she said.

“I would usually be going to Van Cortlandt Pool. But now because of this whole pandemic, I’m just gonna be like staying at home,” a boy named Victor told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio says city pools and beaches are likely closed for the entire summer, and city-funded summer camps are on the proposed budget chopping block.

Mike Halpern, director of the nonprofit Mosholu Montefiore Community Center in the Bronx, says its affordable day camp services is scaled back after its city and state funding was slashed.

Normally serving more than 1,200 children from low-income minority communities, so far this summer they’re only helping 200.

Halpern is worried about children who won’t be supervised.

“They’re going to be playing around, they’re going to be with their friends, they’re going to be hanging out, and they’re not going to properly social distance. Right away, they’re going against what we’re trying to do to prevent,” Halpern said.

Angelic Guerrero and her family in Morrisania say they’re leaving the city to get relief from the heat.

“We have to fly out to Jacksonville to keep cool down there. I have an aunt that has pools and the beaches are open there. You just have to be double careful because coronavirus is increasing out in Florida,” Guerrero said.

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Joel Benitez says sadly, he and his kids will be spending a lot of time at home in Morrisania.

“Let’s just hope the power doesn’t go off, right? And then we’ll be doomed,” he said.

With pools closed, the city is still trying to determine where to open cooling centers, even considering schools and auditoriums as a possible option.


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