Kids and Dehydration

We are constantly told to drink 8 glasses of water a day (5 cups for children aged 4-8). But are you actually doing this?

Not drinking enough could result in dehydration, which in case of kids and hot weather could become dangerous.

First signs of dehydration are: pale skin, irritability, low energy/tiredness. This is a good point when you should try to get some fluids into your child.

Signs of severe dehydration are: dry tongue and lips, no urination, no tears and sunken eyes. This is when hydration becomes critical. You can give your child some rehydration solution (Pedialyte) available from the drugstore or even contact your pediatrician. In severe cases a trip to ER might be in order, where your child might receive fluids through IV. This should, however, be the last resort. It is so much easier just to keep the kids hydrated throughout the day.

Kids tend to forget about drinking while they are busy playing and running around and little children have trouble recognizing that they are thirsty. That is why parents should remember to offer water throughout the day, ideally a few times an hour. If drinking water is not very exciting for kids try offering them juicy fruit like watermelon, vegetables like cucumber or celery, or frozen popsicles. Frozen treats are very exciting for kids and you can make them by yourself by freezing juice or fruit smoothies. Coconut water is also great and tasty and you can buy it nowadays in almost all supermarkets. Avoid giving them pop, sport drinks or vitamin water, which are full of sugar.

You can also give each child their own water bottle in bright colours. Another trick is to use colorful, frozen juice ice-cubes in the water.

Another thing to remember is that even when we are around water, boating and swimming, on a hot day we can still become dehydrated, although the thirst may not be felt so easily.

So keep drinking!