Keeping Kids Hydrated and Healthy in the Summer Heat
Longer days with more sunlight mean kids tend to spend more time outside. The summer season is a great time for kids to stay active and busy without laying around at home all day. They can explore, imagine and stay off of screens. The only challenge is keeping them hydrated at a healthy level with so much time in the heat. Here’s what you can do to make that possible:
Make it Appealing
Older children will quickly make their opinion known. Some think water isn’t interesting or fun due to its lack of flavor, so they typically choose not to drink it at all. To make it more fun and enticing for them, try freezing fruit in ice cubes such as strawberries or watermelon. Simply chop it into small pieces that will fit into an ice cube tray and fill it with water.
If they constantly choose juice over water, find a happy compromise. Make a mixture of 3 parts water with 1 part juice so that they will still receive ample hydration with a little taste.
If there are smaller ones around the toddler age, they may ignore water as well. To make it more fun for them, put the water in fun cups with bendy straws or water bottles that have their favorite character. This will make them more likely to drink water when they are thirsty if it means hanging on to their favorite cup.
Make it Readily Available
Place pitchers and bottles of water all around the kitchen and outdoors to make it visible. Children will be more likely to reach for it if it’s the first thing they see on a hot summer day after spending hours outdoors.
Room temperature water isn’t exactly the most refreshing. Utilize ice cubes, insulated cups that keep drinks colder longer and portable coolers to keep ice packs when you’re out and about. If you’re headed to the pool or beach, bring a cooler bag with ice and water to be prepared when anyone is thirsty.
Instill Healthy Habits
Young children need to learn how to stay hydrated from an early age. If they participate in sports, especially during the summer, make sure they have an adequate supply of water. Have them drink water before turning to sugary sports drinks.
Dehydration leads to fatigue and dizziness. When children play outside while dehydrated, other serious problems can arise. More dangerous side effects can happen as well, so it is important to keep drinking water. Of course, if any issues arise while your child is playing in the heat this summer that a quick bottle of water can’t fix, be sure to contact their pediatrician.