NEWS RELEASE FROM MAYO CLINIC HEALTH SYSTEM:
ONALASKA, WI. — Even in hot weather, children like to be active, riding his or her bike, swimming, chasing the soccer ball around the yard… How can you feel confident your child is getting enough water? As temperatures and activity levels increase in the summer, loss of body water through evaporation and respiration also increases, which leads to dehydration.
“Besides just being thirsty, there are other signs of dehydration that we need to watch for,” says Stephanie Maves, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Onalaska. “Fatigue, restlessness, reduced and concentrated urine, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, and dizziness are all signals that it is time to encourage your child to stop for a water break.”
Dr. Maves suggests that you keep these tips in mind this summer:
•Drink plenty of water. This is the best way to replenish lost fluids. It would be very unlikely to drink “too much” water, so when in doubt, offer your child another cup!
•Watch your child’s intake of beverages with caffeine such as soda. Caffeine is mildly dehydrating and can cause jitters, irritability, insomnia, and elevated blood pressure.
•Popular sports drinks are not necessary for the average person. Sports drinks contain additional glucose and sodium, which are only beneficial for people engaged in prolonged athletic or other high-energy activities.
•Keep liquids available at all times, especially before, during, and after very active times. During activity, fluid intake is recommended every 15 to 20 minutes. Strap a water bottle onto your child’s bike and make sure you bring water with you to the park or the beach.
“Staying hydrated this summer will allow you to partake in all your favorite summer activities without risks of heat-related illnesses,” says Dr. Maves.