Summertime is here. The time when children like to run around outdoors and play, while their parents want them to stay safe and healthy while they play. Keeping healthy during summer fun can seem difficult. One of the best ways to stay healthy while staying active is to get enough to drink.
How Much Water does a Child Need?
Children have smaller bodies and do not need as much to drink as adults. A five to eight-year-old child needs five glasses of water a day. A nine to twelve-year-old needs seven glasses. From age thirteen and up, a child has the same needs as an adult. He or she will need at least eight seven ounce glasses a day. A good rule of thumb for remembering how much to drink is at least half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 180 lbs, drink at least 90 ounces of water per day. Plus extra when exercising.
Drink Water, Not Juice!
While juice or other beverages are tasty and great with meals, nothing quenches thirsty kids like fresh water. There are other benefits to enjoying H2O instead of other beverages. Even 100 percent natural juices will contain sugars and calories. These can quickly add up and contribute to unhealthy weight gains.
How Much Fluid do Children Need While Playing Hard?
When a child is playing hard in the summer heat, he or she will need more fluids. A good rule of thumb is for every 20 minutes of physical activity a child will need a half cup to two cups. This will keep them well hydrated and helps keep them cooled off.
How to be Sure Everyone is Getting Enough to Drink?
Giving younger children regular drink breaks during games is a great way to make sure everyone is drinking. Older children are better at drinking enough. Some may still forget in the excitement of the day. Planned refreshment breaks during games or other activities are a great way to stay refreshed.
Signs of Dehydration
It can be easy to dehydrate while enjoying oneself, particularly for kids! Watch for the following symptoms:
- A dry mouth and swollen tongue.
- Very thirsty!
- Feeling weak or lightheaded.
- Dizziness or confusion.
- Slow moving or sluggish.
- Heart palpitations.
Give as much cool H2O as your child will drink. If necessary, have your child sit down in the shade until the symptoms pass and they recover. A mild case of dehydration is easily fixed with plenty of liquids and a little rest. More severe cases may require medical intervention. As always, the best treatment is prevention. Drink up!