It’s no surprise that Phoenix consistently ranks number one in the United States for the most days in a year where temperatures are above 89° F. You don’t need to be running a marathon to be concerned with hydration, especially in the Valley of the Sun. Learning good hydration habits when you’re young is essential for a lifetime of good habits. Keep your kids safe from heat illness and dehydration.
1. Avoid Direct Sunlight
When a child’s body is in direct sunlight, their core temperature increase higher than an adult’s because the body surface to weight is higher.
2. Watch for Signs of Dehydration
Kids don’t sweat as much as adults, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Kids depend on non-evaporative heat dissipation, a more efficient way to sweat. The sweating that happens for adults doesn’t dissipate heat.
But because they sweat differently, it’s harder for us to know when they’re getting dehydrated. Make sure you’re paying attention to how much liquid is going into your child’s body, especially during the hottest summer months.
Signs of dehydration in kids, according to aboutkidshealth.ca, can be one or more of the following:
For kids, thirst doesn’t kick in until a child has lost 2 percent of their body weight as sweat, so don’t wait until they’re thirsty.
3. Prevent Dehydration
Don’t Wait for Thirst: The University of Connecticut conducted three studies that found that more than half of children at sports camps were dehydrated, despite water and sports drinks availability and encouragement to drink liquids. It may be in your best interest to schedule frequent drink breaks, every 20 minutes at least in hot weather. When possible, take drink breaks in a shady spot.
Keep a water bottle with your kid at all times, and make sure they’re getting plenty of fluids even if they say they’re not thirsty, especially when they’re physically active, suggests kidshealth.org. Also, make sure they’re taking regular breaks about every 20 minutes.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good sized drink for a kid is:
Monitor your child’s water consumption: Dehydration builds throughout the week, so you may think they’re drinking enough that day, but they need to make up for a few day’s worth of lack of water.
4. Be the Example
Eat healthy meals, while drinking plenty of water. Keep a water bottle by your side, and your child will not only notice, they’ll probably want some of you drink too. Show them that you can choose healthy meals when you’re out at a restaurant, and they’ll know what options are available at restaurants.
Avoid Stimulants and “Sports” Drinks
Iced tea, soda, or other drinks with caffeine can contribute to dehydration because caffeine is a diuretic. And, as a stimulant, it weakens the symptoms of dehydration.
Drinks like Powerade and Gatorade aren’t suggested because they’re so high in sugar, syrups, and salt. Although packed with electrolytes that can give your child needed calories and the salt will help them retain water, the sugar content is just too high.
Two hours before a vigorous exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking a standard-size water bottle (16.9 ounces).
Many fruits have a high amount of water, as well as giving your child necessary nutrients. Offer fruit during playtime and as after-game snacks.
Avoid fruit juice, as those have a higher concentration of sugar than whole fruit. Although there is a caveat to this: If your child is active for more than 3 hours, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests drinking a mix of half water and half 100-percent pure juice.
Veggie it Up
Since the dawn of time, parents have wanted their kids to eat their vegetables, and it’s no wonder! Most vegetable content is high in water. Hydration is a process, and it can come through the week when eating vegetables as well as drinking plenty of water. Clear soup with vegetables offers an ideal way to get liquid in the diet with the added bonus of nutrition.
5. How to Treat Heat Illness
SeattleChildrens.org breaks down what action to take if you think your child is suffering from heat illness, ranging from calling 911 to self care at home:
Keep Your Kid Active in Martial Arts in Mesa
If you’re worried about the temperature of your child’s activity, keep them inside in an air conditioned area. There are plenty of options of what your child could be doing to stay active and cool. We want members of the community to be healthy, active, and upstanding citizens. We teach our students about how to take care of their bodies physically, mentally and emotionally. To learn more about what we do or to use our trial offer, contact as today through our online form or call us at 480-986-7177.