As temperature continue to rise around the country every year, how to ensure your child stays hydrated while playing outdoors can be a major concern for parents to think about. Ensuring your child maintains hydration during hot and humid days is a must do, as the risk of a heat related illness to your child during these times can be exceedingly high. Below are some tips to help you reduce this risk of a heat related illness to your child whilst outdoors.
Hydrate Before Exercise
Before heading outdoors to engage in any physical activity, ensure your child already well hydrated. Encouraging your child to drink six to eight ounces of water before they head out is a very good start. A child who is already mildly dehydrated before engaging in activities outdoors where the temperature is high, is already at risk of a heat related illness.
Always Take Water With You
Whenever your child heads out to play, make sure they take water with them. Usually a child will need to consume around three to eight ounces of water for every twenty minutes of physical activity that they do. Water is mostly all that is needed to maintain hydration but older children that may be undertaking a training regime or more intense physical activity may choose to rehydrate with a sports drink containing sodium as such. These sports drinks are deemed to be ok but only for high intensity training or activities, as anything less is unnecessary and may simply provide a child with excess calories that they don’t need.
Take a Break
If your child starts to feel ill or under the weather, advise them to sit out of whatever they may be doing and let them hydrate more until feeling better. If vomiting or fever symptoms occur, this is usually a sign of dehydration. Children should return to activities slowly and special attention should be payed to monitoring their hydration thereafter.
Recognize The Signs
It is essential that you are able to recognize the signs a heat related illness in your child. If he or she develops such signals as dizziness, vomiting, headaches or flushing red cheeks of the face, they should be set aside and assessed for the signs of dehydration.
Always ensure that your child has drunk an adequate amount of fluids after he or she has exercised or engaged in physical activities. Making up for fluids lost during this time is essential in the rehydration process also. If your child does not know how much fluid to drink after this time , an easy indication is to keep track of the color of their urine, when urine is a faint yellow to clear color this is an indication of good hydration.
Prevention Is Better Than The Cure
Dehydration and heat related illnesses are dangerous if not treated and can lead to severe outcomes such as organ failure. Reacting immediately to the signs and symptoms of it can prevent your child from suffering the outcome that dehydration brings. Hydration and awareness in the summer sun can be the best form of preventing a heat related illness.