It might seem like a dream now, but summer is fast approaching, and soon our lives will be full of hot, sweaty days, filled with lots of sunscreen and mid-day meltdowns! Keeping our kids hydrated is not only critical for their health, but can also help alleviate tantrums and grumpy playdates!
Children are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults, but children don’t always know that they’re thirsty or aren't willing to take breaks to rehydrate. Often, if not reminded or prompted they will quickly become dehydrated.
Dehydration in kids can lead to headaches, poor concentration, dry mouth and lips, constipation, lethargy, and of course, thirst. In many kids, those signs can often be overlooked, so pay close attention to your kids -- especially on those hot summer days!
Make sure that you’re offering them an adequate amount of water all day -- at meal times, rest time, play time and before, after, and during physical activities. Keeping reusable water bottles in your diaper bag or car will help you remember to always have water on hand.
The amount of water that a kid needs varies from child to child. But as a general rule, kids under 8 years of age should have at least 4 to 6 glasses of water, and for children older than 8 years of age, a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses is recommended.
When it comes to rehydrating, water is always best. While whole milk, juice, and other sweet drinks can add nutrition to your kid's diet, most of your child’s main hydration should come from water. Getting kids to drink water or to enjoy drinking water isn’t always the easiest task. While the love of water comes naturally to some, others can be picky when it comes to H2O.
Finding fun water bottles, jugs, or straws can make drinking water fun. And adding frozen or fresh fruit to water can add just enough flavor for some kids to fall in love with water. If those things don’t do the trick, try experimenting with the temperature of their water. Some kids like room temp water, and others are more inclined to drink cold water.
The best way to get your kids hooked on water though, is to start at a young age. Offering water as the main source of hydration at a young age will help encourage them from day one to choose water first! And by being an example of water guzzling yourself, it will only boost your kid's interest even more!