When we think of hydration, we often think of adults who are out in the summer sun working constantly and who need to ensure they stay hydrated otherwise they risk heat stroke or other illnesses. However, did you know it is just as important for children to stay hydrated as well?
Children should stay hydrated for optimal health. When a child is dehydrated, they often don’t recognize the symptoms of being thirsty. In turn, they may experience:
- Lack of concentration
- Reduced mental performance
- Dry skin
Tips for Hydration
For children, many parents find it hard to get them to drink just plain water, all though this is the best way to stay hydrated and keep kids at their top performance. For parents who are worried about their children, follow these this guideline:
- For boys and girls ages 4 to 8 years old: They should be intaking 1.6 liters of fluid from drinks and food daily
- Boys ages 9 to 13 years: They should intake 2.1 liters of fluid from drinks and food daily
- Girls ages 9 to 13 years: They should intake 1.9 liters of fluid from drinks and food daily
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Aim for drinks that are plain and natural. Try to avoid those sweeteners and additives in many drinks on the market.
- Encourage water consumption! Try to add a lemon for some taste or even add a fun and curly straw to encourage kids to associate water with something fun.
- Aim for 6 to 8 drinks per day of water, milk, fruit juice or vegetable juices.
Studies have shown that those children are hydrated and remain this way are going to perform better in school. And remember, if kids are playing sports or other activities outdoors, when it is warm will need to ingest more water as they are likely to get dehydrated faster.