Water is an extremely important factor in the human body. It controls many critical functions including excretion, digestion, and regulating your body temperature.
Water is lost by simply breathing, sweating, or urinating and children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults.
Why Children Are More Susceptible
Children do not always recognize when they are thirsty. Often, if they are not reminded, they will forget – causing them to not replenish the fluids they are losing each minute. It’s important to offer them water on a regular basis – especially when they are outside in the heat.
Luckily there are signs of dehydration to watch for. Keep a close eye on your children and be aware of the warning signs.
Warning Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration can present itself in a number of ways. Headaches, as well as, poor concentration, thirst, constipation, and dry mouth are common symptoms. More physical signs may include dark urine, cracked lips, and lethargy.
Children under the age of 8 need at least 4-6 glasses of water per day depending on their size, and age. Children older than 8 years of age should have a minimum of 6-8 glasses per day. If they are very active, they will need extra fluids to replenish lost water from sweating and activity. More water is also required when your child is exposed to heat.
Keep Them Hydrated
Pack water bottles for them to take to school. When preparing them for hotter days, freeze the water bottles beforehand which will keep them cold longer. Encourage them to drink water before participating in physical activities, during the activity and after they are done.
Always give them water when you give them a snack or meal. Even if they do not like water, encourage them to drink it. You can also try adding sliced fruits such as lemon or oranges to give it a little flavor. Sometimes serving water to them in their own personal water bottle or colorful glass will encourage them to drink it as well.
Also, experiment with different water temperatures if they don’t like water. It’s possible they do not like it too cold or too warm – so have them try drinking water in different ways and encourage them to tell you which way they prefer to drink it.