When the hot weather hits, most kids want to spend the whole summer playing outdoors. It’s also important for kids to be drinking enough no matter where they’re playing to avoid becoming dehydrated. Children don’t have the same ability to cool off as adults so they are more likely to end up with heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Here’s what you need to know to keep your child hydrated and healthy all year long:
Watch for dehydration warning signs. Two of the early signs of dehydration in children are fatigue and irritability. If so, it’s time to get them out of the heat for a water break.
How much water do kids need?
For babies, The American Academy of Pediatrics states that "until your baby starts eating solid foods, he'll get all the water he needs from breastmilk or formula.
As for older kids, it’s hard to give one general recommendation for water intake, since intake is related to the activity being done. To ensure that your child is getting enough fluid, offer it six times a day, or even more if they are younger. Young kids can be already dehydrated by the time they’re thirsty.
Why water is the best beverage.
Calorie-free water is a better drink for your children than soda and even juice. Juice is nutritious in moderate amounts such as 120 to 180 ml per day, but too much sweet drinks children drink, the more likely they are to be overweight, and is probably not great for developing teeth as well.
Tips to encourage more water:
- Offer high water-volume foods. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake can come from fruits, such as watermelon, vegetables, such as cucumber, and milk and milk products, including yogurt.
- Play drinking games. Make fluid part of the fun outdoor activities; have the kids count to eight while taking eight big gulps of water.
- Take a break. When children are playing outside, they need a water time-out every 15-20 minutes.
- Sweeten it naturally. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to a glass of water or an ounce of juice to half a gallon of water to add a hint of flavour.
Check this article if you’re confused about which water is best for your child
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