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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Swimmers beat the heat at Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Draper on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — About 60 summer-camp kids in swimsuits filed toward the Liberty Park splash pad on Thursday, the first of six days expected to hit 100 degrees along the Wasatch Front.

“Hot, hot, hot!” one child cried out as she ran across the dry concrete to the spraying water.

Wasatch Kids Summer Camp counselors Chris Stiles and Ashley Thacker said they didn’t know about the six-day, 100-degree forecast, but the reality of the heat manifested in the kids’ complaints and eagerness to make it to the splash pad.

“We work outside every day, all day," Thacker said, "so that’s going to be a long six days.”

KSL meteorologist Lynae Miyer said a new weather pattern involving a “big ridge of high pressure” is building over the Western states. As the ridge strengthens, it will continue to limit weather systems from the North like cloud cover and rain, she said.

“Anyone under that big ridge of high pressure will see hot temperatures starting (Thursday),” Miyer said.

Utah typically only experiences five 100-degree days per year, she said.

Miyer encouraged people to be ready for the heat by taking precautions.

“Wear light clothing if you are headed out, and stay out of the sun between about 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. because that’s when we’re at our hottest,” she said.

The ridge of pressure should begin to break down Wednesday and allow the weather to cool, Miyer said. However, until then, Utahns will have to endure, if not enjoy, almost a week of 100-degree weather.

Because many of the Wasatch Kids Summer Camp’s daily activities take place outside, the children will be using quite a bit of sunscreen — a new application every two hours — and water to drink and play in, Stiles said.

He and the other counselors will be focusing on protecting the kids from the sun and heat while still trying to have fun. Next week, the summer-camp kids will be going to Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Draper to escape the heat, Stiles said.

“I don’t remember the last time it was this hot consecutively,” he said, watching the kids swarm onto the splash pad. “It’s not like apocalyptic sun or anything, but you've still got to be smart about what you do.”

South Salt Lake City resident Jessica Nez said her daughter had been begging her all day to get in the water because it was so hot.

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Nez said she usually likes hot weather, but that's changed now that she's eight months pregnant. Now, the heat makes her tired and uncomfortable, she said.

“At least it’s better than snow,” Nez said as her daughter played at the Liberty Park Splash Pad.

Holladay resident Katherine Broadbent, who brought her two grandchildren to the splash pad, said she welcomes the heat — and so do her grandchildren.

“They don’t know about the weather,” she said. “They just know they’re kids and it’s hot, and they want to have fun.”

Email: kmckellar@deseretnews.com