In the summer heat, dehydration is a concern for parents of small children. Dehydration simply means that a person’s body is not getting enough fluids and is losing fluids more rapidly than they can renew them. Although all ages are susceptible to dehydration, small children and the elderly are especially at risk.
Dehydration can be life-threatening if it’s serious enough. Proper hydration is needed to prevent dehydration and to keep children healthy and happy. There are several ways to promote hydration for your kids this summer, even when they’re busy running around:
- Always Keep Liquids on Hand
If you’re traveling to the playground or playing outside, make sure liquids are within easy access at all times. This makes it more likely that children will drink, and you can prompt them by offering beverages when they stop playing or take a break. Having liquids with you means you don’t have to hunt for a fountain or a place to buy drinks during play.
- Schedule Rest Breaks
When your children playing on swings or trampolines or take part in any other activity, make sure you set up regular breaks. Set up your phone to automatically alert you so you can take a break and rehydrate with your children. Kids are likely to forget and may keep playing for hours unless you remind them to stop. Another option is to keep a tub or cooler of drinks where your kids are playing so they can help themselves to drinks as needed.
Regular stops not only help you rehydrate but can also help you check in with your little ones. If they’re overheated, need a reapplication of sunscreen or are overexerting themselves, breaks let you notice that and prevent them from overdoing it.
- Make Rehydration as Fun as Possible
Add a few slices of fruit or mint to plain water to make it tastier without adding calories or sweeteners. Make sure the water is stored at a cool and comfortable temperature and consider placing it in a special glass or travel container your kids like. When water breaks are fun and tasty, children are more likely to be enthusiastic about them.
- Understand Dehydration Risks
Extreme heat, as well as illness, can cause your child’s body to dehydrate even more rapidly. This means they’ll need more water to stay properly hydrated. Usually, thirst is a good indicator. However, if your child is losing fluids through vomiting or is taking medications that can leave them dehydrated, keep this in mind when deciding how much water to offer.
Just a few tips are all it takes to ensure your kids drink enough water and stay hydrated all summer long.