Keeping Cool: Good Hydration Habits for Kids

It’s sweltering here in Manila and most parts of Southeast Asia, especially as summer officially kicks in. Since kids are more likely to get dehydrated than adults, it’s important to make sure they drink enough fluids. Kids will naturally sweat more in the summer months, and at a faster rate, too.

With the temperatures rising, make sure your kids get plenty of liquids during these hot months, not only to keep them hydrated, but so that they will form good hydration habits that’ll continue even after the summer has ended.

1. Make hydration part of their routine. Kids will often forget to take a drink, most likely because they are too busy playing! However, the best way to keep your child hydrated is to make sure he or she drinks healthy beverages at every opportunity. During meal times, offer your child a healthy beverage that compliments her food. Note: When giving your child beverages, avoid sodas and iced teas: Aside from being loaded with empty calories, these drinks often contain caffeine. (Caffeine is a diuretic, which can dehydrate your child thereby increasing fluid loss.)

2. Buffer up on hydration during strenuous days. These days, our kids are busy with summer activities, which could mean more lost fluids through sweat. Make sure these days to add some extra hydration in your child’s routine, especially during breakfast and after strenuous exercise. This is especially important, since a child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour! This is why the American Association of Pediatrics recommends that kids get 5 ounces of water every 20 minutes, for a child weighing an average of 88 pounds.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Drink at every opportunity. When your child says he is thirsty, be is actually already dehydrated. In fact, according to a study by the University of Connecticut, more than half of the children at sports camps (who had easy access to water and sports drinks) were already dehydrated prior to any  encouragement to take in liquids. You have to remind your child to habitually hydrate. You can do this by scheduling hydration breaks, say, every 20 minutes. If your child is playing out in the sun, make sure he gets a beverage break more often (preferably hydrate in the shade, as much as possible).

4. During strenuous activities, opt for sports drinks for your child. Water is, of course, the best liquid for routine hydration. However, according to studies, kids who engage in strenuous activities will routinely prefer flavored beverages to plain water, even drinking up to 90 percent more. Also, sports drinks help replace electrolytes that your child naturally loses from sweating. Of course, limit the intake of these beverages during sports activities, competitions or active in the sun, as these drinks generally high in calories.

5. Take ice in moderation.  While drinking ice water or iced beverages feel super good during hot days, it can be hard for children to process cold drinks in extremely hot weather, due to the extreme temperature differences. Before your child gulps down a fruit smoothie, encourage him to take some liquid at room temperature, and then take small sips of the cold drink of his choice. This will help to also prevent the inevitable brain freeze!

What are your tips for keeping your kids hydrated in summer?



joei ♥ said...

I need these tips. I dont drink water. Yikes :/

Growing Up Madison said...

Great tips! There are a lot of water flavor enhancers available now for those who don't like plain water. Luckily for me, my kids love plain water. :)

Mira Delos Reyes said...

Hi joei! You should start to drink your water. I also have the same problem before and I experienced having a UTI. I really hurts. :(

Mira Delos Reyes said...

Yeah, I've read somewhere that you can add lemons to your water. Lucky me too because my kids also love the plain water. ;)

Post a Comment

Leave your footprints below: