The human body is made up of about 70% water, so your children’s bodies must have enough fluid to function at their best. Water plays an essential role in bodily functions, including regulating temperature, food digestion and excreting waste. Children are especially at risk of becoming dehydrated and the risk increases when they are playing outside in hot weather. Unfortunately, by the time they realize they are thirsty, they may already be dehydrated, so it’s up to their parents to ensure they are getting plenty of water. Here are a few tips to help kids drink more water to maintain hydration.
Hydration Tips for Kids
The easiest way to ensure your kids stay hydrated is to make sure they always have access to drinking water. For instance, provide them with a water bottle that they can take with them wherever they go. Having their own water bottle will remind them to keep it full, especially when they are going on an outing or playing sports. To help ensure their bottle contains cold water, consider placing the bottle of water in the freezer the night before an outing. Some things you can do to encourage kids that put up a fight about drinking water may include:
- Adding fruit slices, such as oranges, strawberries or lemons to the water
- Let them choose their own water bottle
- Try adding sugar-free flavor packets to their water
- Use fun shaped straws
- Let them see you drinking water instead of sodas or sugary fruit drinks
Signs of Dehydration
It is extremely important to recognize the signs of dehydration, especially in children, because they often don’t recognize when something is wrong, especially when they are outside playing and don’t want to stop in order to come in for a glass of water. Some signs that children aren’t getting the hydration they need may include:
- Dry throat, mouth, lips and/or tongue
- Urine that is dark yellow or brown
- Cracked lips
- Poor concentration
Without replacing the water their bodies have lost, dehydration can become extremely serious, even fatal if not treated immediately. Signs of extreme dehydration may include lethargy, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, confusion, and eyes that are sunken and dark and a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these signs in children (or adults), it is critical that you seek medical attention immediately. Mild dehydration can often be treated by providing water, but it’s best to give water in small sips for the first few minutes. Avoid giving kids sugary drinks, especially when they are playing outdoors in the heat, because it may increase the risk of dehydration.
A great way for you and your children to stay hydrated is with Tyler Mountain Water. Contact us to learn more about our water products and services.