Living in Florida, we know that the heat of the summer is a fact of life. We also get used to the higher temperatures. But as the temps skyrocket, it’s easy to become dehydrated, and it’s important to know the signs that your body shows when dehydration is setting in. It is also important to understand the effects that dehydration can have on your child’s body in the long run.
According to All Children’s Hospital, children are more likely to become dehydrated than adults, and children require more water intake than adults. There are some signs you should look for if your child is dehydrated, and some things you can do to prevent dehydration in your kids this summer.
Signs of Dehydration
When you are trying to figure out if your child is dehydrated, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look for. The Mayo Clinic points to these five signs of dehydration:
● Dry mouth
● Sleepiness and fatigue
● Headache and confusion
● Insatiable thirst
When you notice the signs of dehydration, you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. If you exhibit these symptoms, immediately have a glass of water to start the re-hydration process. Of course, it’s better if you never allow yourself to get to this point.
Five tips for staying hydrated:
All Children’s Hospital has some tips for keeping your kids hydrated on hot summer days.
● Drink water, and plenty of it. According to the American Heart Association , drinking sugary sodas or caffeinated teas and coffees will not keep your body hydrated. They can act as a diuretic and cause the loss of more liquids.
● When you think that you’re hungry, go for a glass of water before that snack. Thirst is often and very easily confused with hunger, and because of that, we tend to eat, when all we need is a drink. Having a glass of water as opposed to a snack also saves calories and fat intake.
● Keep track of your water intake. Knowing how much water you should consume in a day versus how much you have consumed will allow you to keep track of your hydration.
● Carry water with you. When you know you’re going to be outside in the heat, carry a bottle of water to replenish the fluids you will lose from sweating. Instead of going for store bought bottled water, purchase a reusable water bottle to cut down on waste.
● If you need to, set reminders on your phone or watch. Sometimes all you need is a simple reminder to have a drink.
● Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes and a hat when in hot conditions.
Drinking water is the best method for most people to keep hydrated. However, many people don’t like to drink water because of the lack of flavor. To add a little flavor without adding calories, the Center for Disease Control suggests adding a slice of lemon, lime, basil, or other healthful aromatic to your water.
Effects of Dehydration
Dehydration can cause a whole host of problems, including dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness when it first occurs. Dehydration, especially frequent dehydration, can cause headaches and even memory loss, according to NewVision.com . This can change the way that your child goes through school and remembers important information, causing them to have lower test scores. It can also cause inflammation and can even change your child’s metabolism and cause weight gain.
Hydration is more important that just drinking water. It can save your child’s life in the harsh Florida summer.
Be conscious about your hydration. Not only can doing so protect you from harmful diseases such as heat stroke, it will also make you feel considerably healthier.
For more information on staying hydrated and how to stay safe this summer, visit TBParenting.com .
by Angela Ardolino of Tampa Bay Parenting, TBParenting.com