Did you know that children are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults? In relation to grown-ups, children have a larger proportion of their skin available to lose sweat and be exposed to heat (especially during hot summer days). So by the time children start experiencing thirst, they're already at least 3% dehydrated, and water does far more than quench thirst.
Water is a cooling mechanism, it transports fluids and nutrients, improves digestion, helps with cognitive function and maintains a healthy weight (more reasons about the importance of water can be found HERE).
That's why you shouldn't wait for your kids to tell you they're thirsty before offering them water. Especially because children don't always recognize immediately that they're thirsty as they're usually too busy having fun :)
Signs and symptoms that your child is (becoming) dehydrated
There are a lot of symptoms of dehydration, yet, the easiest way to tell if your child is hydrated is by the frequency of bathroom breaks or wet nappies they have (pay attention to decreased urine output!). Other symptoms might be:
- Poor concentration
- Dry or cracked lips/mouth
- Increased heart rate or low blood pressure
- Dark, strong and concentrated urine or
- Mood changes (tired, sleepy, irritable).
Therefore, you should offer them water and other hydrating beverages and food throughout the whole day. Below we list a few simple tricks that will protect your child and allow him to enjoy the playground and school time healthy & active.
Top three tips & tricks for keeping your kids hydrated all year long
1 Educate your child. Let your little one know about water and the fact that our bodies are made up of approximately 70% of water. Also, they should know the recommended amount of water for them to have is at least 4-6 glasses of water per day.
2 Make their beverage tasty but healthy. Not all kids like to drink plain water. So, play around with it. Make it tasty and colorful by adding different pieces of fruit and herbs in their water. Creating homemade fruit and veggie smoothies is also a great way to add more fluids to your child's body. Needless to say, it's quite fun making them together :)
3 Get a cute water bottle for them. Encourage them to carry their water bottle with them at all times. Have a healthy BPA free and clean water bottle for your kid that will be always full and accessible to them. To make it more fun, let your kids pick out their own water bottle in their favorite color or decorated with their favorite characters (see the whole selection in our online store). This way they'll be more motivated and keen to take it everywhere with them. To keep their hydration at top of the game, pay special attention to hydration before, after, and during their physical activity (whether its sports or ordinary playtime). And never forget that you are a role model for them – so the way you take care of your hydration will always influence them first.
It's not always easy to stay on track with everything the little ones are up to, especially when we're not around them. However, keep in mind that good hydration habits last a lifetime, and building them at a small age makes a huge difference!
P.S.: Share these tips with a mom you know. She'll thank you for this, we promise.