You have heard it over and over again to drink more water, but what about your children? Children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults because of their smaller size. Children also have difficulty identifying thirst. Our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water. Water has many body functions such as regulating body’s temperature, digesting food, and removing toxins from the body.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when the body is not receiving enough water, or losing fluids too quickly. Dehydration is usually due to an illness and/or fluid loss from diarrhea or vomiting. Dehydration may also be due to decreased fluid intake. Water is eliminated from the body through sweat, breathing, and urination. Due to the active lifestyle of most children, they are more susceptible to losing excessive amounts of fluid during the day. It is important to encourage adequate water intake during meals and playtime. Children older than 8 year old require 6-8 glasses of water, and children under 8 years old need 4-6 glasses of water per day.
Signs of dehydration in children:
- Sunken eyes
- Reduced bathroom breaks
- Dry lips or mouth
- Poor concentration
- No tears when crying
Tips to increase water intake:
- Add a slice of lemon or lime to flavor the water.
- Keep infused water pitchers in the fridge for accessibility. Some favorites include raspberry-mint, lemon-cucumber, blueberry-lime, and strawberry-basil.
- Freeze berries into ice cube trays for flavored ice-cubes.
- Use crazy straws to make water glasses more fun.
- Have your child pick out a water bottle of their choice. Contigo, Pura kiki, Manna Moda, or Polar Bottle are all great options.
- Be a role model by frequently drinking water around your children.
- Make a water chart. Every time your child drinks 1 glass of water, they can put a sticker on the chart.
- Limit Juice, soda, and energy drinks to special occasions only.
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“Dehydration.” About Kids Health , www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/Symptoms/Pages/Dehydration.aspx.
Gladwell, Megan. “4 Reasons Your Kids Should Drink Water.” FamilyShare – Discover How to Improve Your
Family Life and More, familyshare.com/2812/4-reasons-your-kids-should-drink-water.
Jr., Robert Ferry. “Dehydration in Children: Symptoms, Signs & Reaction.” EMedicineHealth, 21 Nov. 2017, www.emedicinehealth.com/dehydration_in_children/article_em.htm#what_are_the_home_remedies_for_dehydration_in_children.
“Water.” Healthy Kids, healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/