Importance of Hydration

Getting enough fluids is important to staying healthy.  Proper hydration has been associated with energy levels, concentration, and physical endurance.  But when someone doesn't get enough to drink, they risk becoming dehydrated. Dehydration is a condition that can range from mild symptoms to severe heat-related illnesses, such as cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Kids are often at greater risk of becoming dehydrated because they’re less effective at sweating to cool the body down, and also because their bodies can produce more heat during exercise.  If you’ve ever watched kids play, you know that they get so wrapped up in what they’re doing that they often forget to break for a drink.  That’s why it’s so important for adults to help them stay hydrated.

 

In addition to being thirsty, here are some signs that a person might be dehydrated:

  • feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or tired
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dry lips and mouth

Another sign of dehydration is not going to the bathroom as much. Normally, urine should be a pale yellow color. Dark or strong-smelling pee can be a sign of dehydration.

 

Help Active Kids Keep Cool with these Hydration Tips

  • Know the potential hazards – heat, humidity, direct sunlight – and plan accordingly.
  • Get kids in the habit of drinking water and limit soda, ice tea, and other sugar or caffeine drinks. Sports drinks are fine during intense physical activity, but water can be just as good and lower in calories.
  • If you have a younger child that prefers fruit juice, try gradually diluting juice with up to 50 percent water.  
  • If your child attends a summer sports camp, inquire about the program’s hydration policy.  Send your child off to camp each day with plenty of fluids.  
  • Teach your child to drink before she feels thirsty.  Coaches and parents should remind kids to drink prior to and during physical activity.  
  • Pack a frozen water bottle in your child’s lunch along with water-rich fruits, such as watermelon or grapes.  
  • Be a good role model.  If your child sees you drinking water throughout the day, he’ll be more likely to follow your lead.
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Resources and Links

 

 

 

 Sources: Plasticinfo.org, kidshealth.org

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