We all know that between the busy summer schedules of fun activities, sports, and play dates, it can be hard for everyone to drink water – especially children. Try using these 6 tricks to help to keep your family happy and hydrated during the summer heat.
1. Drink your water.
How can you tell that your child is getting enough liquids? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children drink six glasses of water on an average day. Have your child hydrate before leaving the house, pack waters for them throughout the day, and make sure they’re getting into the habit of taking refreshment breaks throughout activities. Avoid having your child drink sugary sodas, fruit juices, or energy drinks – these all have dehydrating agents in them such as refined sugars and caffeine. Instead, try adding lemons, oranges, cucumber, or mint to add a some flavor!
2. Eat your fruits and veggies.
Incorporating foods with high-water content is an easy way to ensure that your family is staying hydrated. Watermelon is a great option, as it is 92% water. Other fruits and veggies that are high in water content include: cucumbers, celery, oranges, and lettuce.
3. Monitor the sweat.
Children’s bodies do not cool down as efficiently as adults, meaning they are much more prone to dehydration – especially during high heats of summer. It can get dangerous when the amount of fluid leaving the body is greater than the amount entering the body. Taking simple precautions on amount of outdoor activity levels during high heat will allow your children to enjoy summer safely.
4. Make it fun.
Making a fun summer treat, like one of these healthy popsicles, is a great way to engage children and offer them a fun alternative to playing outside in the heat. 1-2 popsicles has enough liquid in it to tie them over for an hour or two on the hydration level. Plus, their flavor and colors make them much more appealing to kids than just water. Another fun option is to freeze berries and use as ice cubes in their waters – this adds a bit of color and excitement to an otherwise ordinary glass of water.
5. Instill healthy habits.
As your kids get older, you won’t be able to follow them everywhere to ensure they’re getting the liquids they need. But helping them understand the importance of frequent hydration for good health is a great start. It is crucial to instill in them early on healthy habits of choosing liquids wisely, and how frequent to hydrate. Do this by always packing good sources of hydration in their lunchboxes or backpacks as a friendly reminder to drink their fluids 🙂
6. Plan ahead, pack smart.
The point is to avoid dehydration all together. If you know your child has a play date the following day, plan ahead by packing their backpacks with a couple of water bottles (still or sparkling). Always sending your kid out the door with a full water bottle as well, but be sure to have backups in their bags.
Let’s hear from the doctor.
“Hydration needs are very individual and are based on one’s environment (is it really hot and humid outside), your health status and finally activity level. The goal is stay ahead of the game to prevent dehydration.” – Jeanne Rosner, MD, Founder of Soul Food Salon.
What are some symptoms of dehydration?
“Thirst, however, this is not always reliable; dizziness; listless; irritability; dry mouth and tongue; sunken eyes. Urine color becomes concentrated and is dark yellow, it should be more light yellow to clear in color. In addition, for infants and babies- lack of a wet diaper for three hours and sunken soft spot on the top of the skull (fontanelle).”
What to do?
“Try to encourage fluid intake. If symptoms appear more severe, such as disorientation, extreme irritability, can’t keep fluids down contact your family doctor/ pediatrician immediately.”