Summer means lots of sunshine, outdoor games, friends and fun. Amidst the fun and games, a villain might creep in unknowingly —dehydration. What we miss as parents is that, dehydration can occur in any season. As the temperature cools down, our bodies “want” less water and we consume lesser amounts of water as compared to the hotter times. This will create dehydration. Let us look at seven ways to combat dehydration in in kids.
7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Hydrated in any Season
- Prevent Over-Sweating
Your child’s body does not cool down as quickly and efficiently as yours, which is why he/she will be more prone to dehydration. The risk of dehydration increases if the fluids leave the body through sweat at a faster rate than they are replaced through water or juices. It is important to prevent over-sweating as severe dehydration can even put your child’s life at threat.
Taking simple precautions like keeping water accessible or encouraging water breaks during playtime will protect your child from dehydration.
- Give Before They Ask
If your child is thirsty, it means that the body is mildly dehydrated. Don’t wait till the child is thirsty in order to give them liquids. Generally, kids ignore thirst while they are playing, which means by the time they ask for water, they could be quite dehydrated, tired or dizzy.
Give them water before they ask. Designate ‘water breaks’at every 20 mins of their playtime where they can either drink water or one of their favorite drinks.
- ‘Eat’the Water
No kid would say no to an ice cream or a yummy ice-cold popsicle. Take advantage of that and make some homemade popsicles that are healthy and low in sugar. Mix fruit juice and water, put them in a tray with a stick and freeze them. This is definitely a fun and creative summer hydration idea for the kids to have water. You can even use products that are specifically made for rehydration to make the popsicles.
- A Smooth(ie) Solution
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients and water. Incorporating them into their daily diet is recommended. If the kids make a fuss about having fruits or vegetables, you can sneak them stealthily into their diet by making a healthy hydrating smoothie. Make them fresh and store them in proper vacuum sealed smoothie bottles which can store smoothies for a longer time period whilepreserving its taste and nutritional value—a win-win solution for both you and your children.
- Flavor Them Up
Drinking just water may get boring for kids, which is why you can make it interesting with flavored waters. They are available in the market, however, make sure such drinks are not loaded with sugar as it slows down the absorption of fluids in the body. Giving them one drink or two per day is fine but anything more than that should be avoided.
You can even create flavored water at home by adding slices of fruits and vegetables such as strawberry, lemon, cucumber, mint/basil leaves or kiwi to plain water.
- Track the Liquid Intake
Keep a track of the quantity of liquid your child is consuming. According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a child should drink an average of six glasses per day. However, the child may lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour while playing or during other high activity periods. AAP suggests that about 5 ounces of water should be consumed every 20 minutes for an 88-pound child. Kids/teenagers weighing about 132 pounds should drink 9 ounces.
- Choose Healthy Substitutes
Some healthy substitutes for water are dairy products such as milk, buttermilk and yogurt or natural options like coconut water. They will help in refueling your kid’s body and hydrate at the same time. Opt for flavored or fruit yogurt if the kids aren’t fond of plain yogurt.
Keep an eye on your kids’ health in summer or any other season. Make ‘Hydrate Yourself’a mantra for the kids and send them out to havefun without worrying.
Nora White is the digital marketing manager for SANS. She has been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle for over 2 decades and loves to keep herself updated with the latest in clean eating and green living. When not at work, you can find her at a hot yoga class or writing to educate and help her readers come one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. In her free time, she loves to travel with her husband and two boys, and hike with friends.