Getting dehydrated is a big deal, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface. It can lead to some serious complications that include:
- Heat cramps
- Swelling of the brain
- Kidney failure
If it is allowed to progress, dehydration can actually result in death. Unfortunately, children are especially susceptible to dehydration, making them much more likely to experience it than the adult members of your family. After all, what kid wants to stop playing to take a drink of water!
When it gets hot outside, it is especially important to keep an eye on your child’s hydration level. Here are a few tips to ensure your child stays well hydrated, no matter what the temperature outside.
Boost Their Water with Electrolytes
Drinking water is an important way to stay hydrated, but if your child is already experiencing the effects of dehydration, it may not be enough. If your electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical messages in the brain can get mixed up, leading to involuntary muscle contractions, and even a loss of consciousness.
Boosting their water with electrolytes is the answer. These additives include minerals to stay hydrated, ensuring their young brains stay healthy while they rehydrate their bodies. Not to mention, many of these drink mixes make water taste better, increasing the chances that your children will actually drink it!
Make Water Accessible
If it’s not easy, your child probably isn’t going to do it. That’s especially the case when it comes to doing things they don’t really want to do, like taking a break from playing to drink some water. Make it easier for them to take a few seconds to rehydrate by making sure it’s fast for them to get a glass of water.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to make water easily accessible. That might mean making sure there’s a stool in the kitchen so your child can reach the tap, and leaving cups on the counter that they can use to get a drink.
A reusable water bottle is one of the best ways to keep your child hydrated, among its other benefits. Make sure you bring one with you wherever you go, and make sure your child knows exactly where to find it.
Offer Water Often
Children need a lot more water than you might think. For example, a four-year-old needs a whopping seven cups of water a day. It’s easy for children to forget that they need to get a drink of water, which means they aren’t going to get all the water they need. That’s where you come in.
It’s important to remind your child that they need to drink water often. That means taking drink breaks when you’re at the park and offering them a sip of water when you’re out on a walk. Very young children can be reminded to drink water by having a bottle of water in their drink cup in a stroller.
Eat Their Way to Hydration
Drinking water isn’t most children’s favorite thing to do, and if they don’t enjoy it, they aren’t likely to get enough to drink. Fortunately, there are plenty of other places to find water.
Many foods contain a high water content. If your little one could use a little H2O, consider offering one of these hydrating foods instead:
You can also plan meals around keeping your kids hydrated during the hottest days of the summer. For example, soup is a great way to stay hydrated and enjoy a hearty meal at the same time.
Reach for the Freezer
When it’s hot outside, it can feel really good to cool down. A nice glass of ice water can do the trick, but a popsicle is even better!
That doesn’t mean you’re stuck giving your child popsicles and icies that are full of sugar, which can actually increase the rate of dehydration. There are many healthier options that are just as tasty.
Look for popsicles at the store that are made out of 100-percent fruit juice. You can also find frozen treats that are made out of healthy yogurt that are hydrating, healthy, and delicious. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also make your own!
Don’t let the heat ruin your fun this summer. Make sure your children can play to their hearts’ content by following the hydration tips on this list.