Now that the weather is feeling more like summer, it’s time to think about how to stay hydrated and look for signs of dehydration before it becomes a serious problem. Often we think if the kids are drinking fluid of any kind, they can’t get dehydrated but that’s not always what’s happening.
Signs of Dehydration
Soda, and even sports drinks, can actually pull much-needed fluid from your body because they have a high sodium and/or sugar content. If your kids seem like they’re unusually tired, have red cheeks, and dry lips even if they’re drinking fluids, it’s time to check what they’re drinking and eating. Or better yet, give them some water to drink just to make sure their body is getting what it needs.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Low energy or a feeling of tiredness
- Dry, cracked lips and/or mouth
- Decreased urine output or none at all
- Dark colored urine that cannot be attributed to diet
- Cold or dry skin
- Lack of perspiration
If your child won’t take fluids, has passed out, or their eyes appear to be sunken please seek medical attention.
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
The key to avoiding dehydration is to keep fluids accessible throughout the day and encourage kids to drink water every 20 minutes. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and caffeinated teas and be conservative in serving sports drinks. Sports drinks contain sugar and sodium which can contribute to dehydration.
It is important to note that intake of too much water can cause hyponatremia, condition in which the body has low levels of sodium and can lead to seizures, coma, or death if not treated properly.
Choose Foods Wisely
A healthy way to stay hydrated and make sure your kids (and you) have enough sugar and sodium is to choose foods like watermelon, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, and potato chips (in moderation). They might burn more if they’re playing in the pool or sprinklers so have snacks available between meals but be aware of how much they’re eating and drinking.
Too much of anything is almost always bad for your health. Whether it’s fruit, salt, or even water, we encourage you to be careful outside in Wadsworth this summer! Stay hydrated in the heat of the summer and check out our list of 10 Summer Activities for Kids that Won’t Break the Bank.