How to Keep Youngsters Well Hydrated During Summer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Niru Prasad   

How to Keep your Youngsters

Well Hydrated during

Summer Sports Activities


Dr. Niru Prasad, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.E.P

Heat illness is one of the most common preventable sports injuries in children since children absorb heat from their surroundings more easily than adults and are more likely to get dehydrated due to inadequate oral intake during strenuous sports activities. Parents should be aware of the fact that a child’s ability to regulate their body temperature differs from the adults and during sports activities they forget to drink enough fluids especially when their sweating losses are high.

What are the early signs of dehydration?

Dryness of the lips and oral mucosa including the tongue.

Dark yellow urine.

Infrequent urination.

Sunken eyes.

Fatigue and muscle cramps.

What parents can do?

Give children Gatorade or other non-carbonated beverages.

Freeze beverages in squeeze bottles so they stay cool during play.

Have your child drink before, during and after the sport.

Frequently check their urine color since a clear light colored urine means your child is well hydrated.

Fluid guidelines for active kids:

Water is a good beverage, however it does not provide energies.

Fruit juices and carbonated drinks should be avoided during exercise due to the fact that their high sugar content can slow absorption and increase the chance of stomachaches and gas formation. The carbonation in a soft drink may also cause a burning sensation in the mouth.

Sports drink provides energy and electrolytes that encourage kids to drink by turning on their thirst. The sport drinks are low in sugar and high in electrolytes hence they compensate for the salt loss during sweating.

Children involved in organized sports should be weighed before and after they exercise and for every pound of weight loss, make sure they drink at least 16 oz. Of fluid.