Creative ways to keep your kids hydrated this summer

Summer is a truly amazing time. It allows children to experience the outdoors and parents to spend a little more time playing with them, helping them grow and discover the world. However, the summer heat also brings forth an unsuspecting danger than many people overestimate:

Dehydration!

Especially when they are really young, children can be affected by the symptoms of dehydration very quickly. Just a couple of hours of play time under the hot sun could indeed already produce dangerous effects, such as a general sense of weakness, dizziness or headaches, among other signs that your kids might be exposed to too much heat and too little water.

In order to understand how to prevent dehydration, it might be useful for you to gain a clearer understanding of what it actually really is. Essentially, this is what happens when a human body doesn’t have as much water as it needs. About 60% of the human body actually consists of water, and when we are not able to stay consistently hydrated, some issues might arise. Naturally, we lose liquids every single day through a wide variety of process, ranging from peeing to secreting tears and even saliva and sweat. The weather will have a really significant impact on the amount of water we lose, with heat causing us to dehydrate much faster. For children, keeping their liquid intake consistent is even more important, since their constitution relies on it even more so than a fully developed adult.

How can you keep your kids hydrated? The obvious solutions are to give them enough to drink and make sure they don’t spend a lot of time directly exposed to the heat of the sun without any proper protection or time to chill in the shade. However, there are many other fun ways and strategies that will help you keep your kids hydrated, without making them feel like you are constantly worried, hovering over them and watching their every step. The trick is to turn hydration into a game, or in some cases, into a fun treat!

– A fun alternative to water: Water is a great and primary source of hydration, but sometimes, you could spice it up by offering your kids a nice, healthy treat. Coconut water is a particularly great alternative. It makes for a sweet, refreshing drink that also has the extra bonus of being full of electrolytes, particularly calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Think of it as nature’s sports drink! 

-Coconut water is not your only healthy, natural alternative to offer something nutritious to your kids: make them a nice fruit juice or smoothie, which will help keep them hydrated, with the extra benefit of giving them all those vitamins and fiber that make fruit and veggies really important for any kid’s (or anyone else’s) diet.  If you want to up the ante a little bit, make the drinking more fun with some cool straws or mini cocktail umbrellas! Kids will look forward to enjoying their hydrating treat even more.

– Fresh Fruit is a great everday hydrator! Fruit like watermelon, apples and grapes are made of mostly water, not to mention the healthy benefit of eating fresh whole foods!

– Feeling a little extra indulgent and in the mood for something sweet? Even an icicle, a slush or a snow-cone helps hydration, Just keep the sweets as special treat rather than an option to use on a regular basis.

If you see your kids energy level or their lips chapping then you know your starting to lose the hydration battle.  Stay ahead of the game by using these suggestions  – your kids will feel great all day!

Laurie has 20 years of experience in Pediatric nursing. Currently she is an ER travel nurse and loves it. A proud mother of a 19 year old daughter who is approaching her second year at the University of Arkansas. She loves to travel, spend time with her daughter, and friends. Hobbies include snorkeling, fishing, and promoting the safety of children!