Under the hot summer sun, keeping kids hydrated turns into a parent’s number one priority. According to Parents magazine, children become dehydrated much more quickly than adults. They lose water through sweat and their bodies produce more heat. They’re more interested in having fun and running around so paying attention to keep kids cool and well hydrated is important. Here are 6 easy tips you (and they!) will appreciate:
1. Always Bring Water – Fill up reusable water bottles before you head out on a day trip or head out to the park to play. You may be able to buy water at the park or find a water fountain, but you never know. It’s best to be prepared.
2. Avoid Going Outside During the Hottest Times of the Day – If you want to take your kids out to the park, try to do so in morning or in the early evening, after things have cooled down slightly. From late morning to early evening, the chances are much higher that the kids will become dehydrated.
3. Schedule Regular Water Breaks – According to Kids Health, the average child needs a drink of water every 20 minutes when she is exercising or playing a sport. A child should drink between 5 and 9 ounces each break, depending on her age. Have your child take a drink even if she claims she is not thirsty.
4. Add Some Flavor – Some kids think water tastes great on its own. Others like a fruity flavor in their beverage. You can add a slice of lemon or lime to the water for a hint of flavor. Other options are to serve fruit juice diluted with water so the kids get the flavor without having to worry about all those calories. During sports and other strenuous activity, it’s fine to give your child sports drinks to keep her hydrated.
5. Skip the Caffeine – While soda and iced tea technically keep your kids hydrated, both often contain caffeine, which can make dehydration worse. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose water. Another drawback is that it can also mask dehydration symptoms.
6. Think of Fruit – Some fruits and vegetables have a high water content and help to keep your kids hydrated. If they’re not interested in water, have them eat fruits such as cantaloupe, oranges or watermelon instead. Watermelon, for example, has a water content of over 90 percent.
Finding ways to make sure keeping kids hydrated this summer doesn’t have to be challenging. Get your kids used to drinking water regularly and you may soon find that you do not need to remind them that it’s time to take a drink.