All human bodies are made up of water, and this is why staying properly hydrated is so important. This is especially true for kids. With the heat of the summer upon us, hydration is essential for good health and well-being. This article will examine some of the causes of dehydration, why it is important to hydrate the body, and what you can do as a parent to avoid dehydration in your kids.
Causes of Dehydration
Quite simply, dehydration occurs when there isn’t enough water in the body. Sweat is what our bodies use to cool us down, and sweat is made up not only of salt and microscopic toxins that our body is trying to release, but a majority of sweat comes out as water.
One of the main causes is because of viral infections, with symptoms that include a high fever and diarrhea. It is especially important to remember that infants and young children depend upon others to provide them with water and proper nutrition. Babies cannot tell an adult when they are uncomfortable or if they are thirsty, but they will fuss, cry, become listless and in severe cases may become very hot and not produce sweat.
Any time a child-whether an infant or an older child-does not produce sweat during intense heat or intense bouts of physical activity, this is a sign for concern. It is important to get water and electrolytes into the body before the child passes out or before other symptoms, such as listlessness, high fever, or a sense of being disoriented or dizzy occur.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Some of the symptoms include:
• Dry or sticky mouth-this is especially obvious in babies and very small children
• Irritability-this is also obvious in babies, and if this, along with a dry mouth, occur, give the baby water immediately
• Little to no urination-any urine that occurs in extremely dark in color
• Sunken eyes
• Restlessness at night or trouble sleeping
• Low blood pressure
• Rapid heartbeat
• Rapid breathing
• In extreme cases, unconsciousness may occur
Rather than rely on sugary drinks such as sodas and other cold drinks, it is better to give your child bottles of water, or if they are playing outdoors near home, have kids come inside to get some water. A drink that helps balance electrolytes within the body can be extremely beneficial.
Make sure kids drink plenty of water. It is equally important to make sure they come in from the extreme heat or after extreme physical activities and cool down periodically. Get them to take water breaks as often as possible. Water should be everywhere, make sure there’s lots to drink!
Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. Make sure your kids stay safe and hydrated with lots of water this summer!
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