Summer Safety Tips: Look out for these symptoms of dehydration
Summer's warmer weather brings a range of increased activities for kids, from younger children spending more time outdoors engaged in play or older children engaging in organized sports.
Especially for more active kids, combining increased physical activity and increased outdoor temperatures, parents should be on the lookout for signs of dehydration, which can include:
- decreased urine output
- dizziness or lightheadedness
The best way to prevent dehydration in kids is to make sure they're drinking plenty of fluids. "It's best to drink before you are feeling thirsty," says Dr. Heather Isaacson, a Denver-area pediatrician at Longmont Clinic in Longmont, Colo. "If kids are exercising outside, they should drink two to four cups of fluid each hour, and avoid sugar and caffeine, as these can cause an increase in loss of fluids. Kids should drink enough so urine stays a light yellow color."
More summer safety tips:
Staying safe when swimming
Playing it safe on playgrounds and bikes
Dealing with a poison ivy rash
Preventing mosquito bites and bee stings
Avoiding heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Preventing a sunburn
Sports drinks that replace electrolytes are OK, Issacson says, but she recommends water as the best way for kids to stay hydrated.
Dr. Marjorie Milici, a Dallas pediatrician at Baylor Pediatric Center, says older children and teens involved in organized summer sports can be at an increased risk for not staying properly hydrated.
"With dehydration, the kid I worry about the most is the kid that's in 105-degree heat playing football in full pads - the boys especially don't always tell the coach they don't feel good," Milici says. "If they feel dizzy, they need to tell the adult they're going to sit down in the shade and drink water."
Next: Preventing a sunburn