Whether the temperature is 30 degrees or 90 degrees, most children like to go outside and play. As constant balls of energy, it’s easy for them to forget about uncomfortable weather while running around, riding bikes, or playing sports.
However, there are certain dangers that come with extreme temperatures. In the summer, one of the biggest concerns is dehydration.
What is dehydration?
Seventy-five percent of our bodies are made of water found inside and outside of our cells and blood vessels. As a general rule of thumb for maintaining good health, we must sustain a balance between the water we lose (through sweat, urine, and other bodily functions) and the water we drink.
If you lose more water than you gain, you will become dehydrated. Other factors that could assist the development of dehydration are diarrhea, vomiting, burns, diabetes, and frequent urination.
Infants and children are especially vulnerable to dehydration, as are athletes, people with chronic disabilities, and the elderly.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
The symptoms of dehydration include:
- dry mouth;
- muscle weakness;
- few or no tears;
- decreased urination; and
How can you prevent your child from becoming dehydrated?
- Ensure that your child is drinking plenty of water while they are outside. They may not realize they are thirsty, so you should make sure that they drink something at least every 15 to 20 minutes. You should also make sure that they drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Feed your kid food that has a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Do not let your child play outside for a long period of time in extremely hot weather. Even if your child is just sitting outside, they could still be at risk for dehydration because of the amount of sweat lost.
- Give your kid extra fluids by replacing sugary sodas and treats with (a healthy amount of) sports drinks and flavored popsicles.
- Pay attention to how your child is feeling. If they complain about headaches, muscle weakness, or dizziness, move them into a cool space and give them some water to drink.