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For Kids, Summer Hydration Doesn’t Have to Be Dull

For Kids, Summer Hydration Doesn’t Have to Be Dull

For Kids, Summer Hydration Doesn’t Have to Be Dull

You know keeping your children safe in the summer heat takes proper hydration. Your kids, however, may protest at having to pause playtime to maintain a healthy fluid intake, especially if plain water is the only drink on offer. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can make summer hydration fun and help your kids keep playing.

The Importance of Summer Hydration

For kids (and their parents), staying hydrated is key to good health year-round, but it takes on heightened importance during the heat of the Southwest Wyoming summer. When it comes to summer safety, drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids belongs on the same level as lathering up with sunscreen.

Staying hydrated helps children maintain a healthy body weight and skin, strong bones, and good blood circulation. Proper summer hydration also helps them focus and remember information.

Lack of water in the body can lead to dehydration. That, in turn, can make them more vulnerable to dangerous heat illnesses that occur when the body temperature rises too high. Watch your kids closely for symptoms of dehydration during summer activities. Symptoms may include:

  • Cramps
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dry lips or mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Irritability
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Lightheadedness
  • Peeing less frequently than usual
  • Thirst
  • Unusual tiredness

Contact your child’s medical provider at the first sign of dehydration. They may advise treating your child at home if the symptoms are mild. Severe symptoms may require emergency treatment.

Staying Hydrated: How Much Fluids Kids Need

Understanding how much water to drink can be tricky for adults, let alone children. Children’s hydration needs may vary based on several factors, including their activity level and heat and humidity levels. In general, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following fluid intake levels:

  • Ages 1 to 3: around 4 cups of fluids per day
  • Ages 4 to 8: around 5 cups per day
  • Age 9 and older: 7 to 8 cups

Wondering which beverage is best for your kids to maintain summer hydration? Plain water is tops because it doesn’t include unhealthy ingredients, such as added sugar, and it’s calorie-free. Milk, another good choice, features nutrients that support healthy bones.

Save sugar-rich juices and sodas for special treats. In addition, only allow your kids to drink sports drinks, which are also high in sugar, if they’ve been playing or exercising intensively for more than an hour.

Get Creative With Your Summer Hydration Strategy

Tired of your kids’ complaints about having to drink water to maintain summer hydration? Use these tips to help make staying hydrated more appealing:

  • Encourage your kids to express their personality as part of staying hydrated. Let your kids pick out their own water bottle — or surprise them with a personalized one in their favorite color — and urge them to give it flare with stickers reflecting their hobbies or places they’ve visited.
  • Find sneaky sources of water. Not all water comes in a cup or bottle. Many fruits and vegetables— including summer favorites, such as watermelons, strawberries, and tomatoes — have a high water content. Serve these and others as snacks or with meals.
  • Make a fruit smoothie together. Use milk, yogurt, and your kids’ favorite fruits to whip up a healthy and refreshing smoothie.
  • Think outside the same-old-beverage box. If your kids are bored by plain water, use fresh flavors to get them hyped about hydration. Use lemon and berries to make a pitcher of infused water. Let your kids try coconut water for something different or enlist their help making fruit ice cubes.

With a little encouragement, and by making summer hydration fun, your kids are more likely to make drinking enough healthy fluids a habit.

Don’t let an illness spoil your children’s summer fun. Find a medical provider who can help them get back to their healthy, active selves.