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How to know if your child is getting enough water during these summer months

July 17, 2015

For kids, summer days mean no school and more time to play outside with friends. And while it’s important for kids to stay active throughout the day for optimal health, it’s equally important to ensure they are drinking enough water for proper hydration, especially during these hot and humid months! It is easy for kids to become mildly dehydrated without even knowing it, which is a reason for concern given that adequate hydration helps a child function more optimally physically and mentally.

Let’s look at some facts:

  • 50% of children in the U.S. do not drink enough water
  • 25% of children do not drink plain water at all
  • Boys are 76% more likely to be dehydrated
Dr. Safder, pediatric gastroenterologist at Arnold Palmer Hospital, recently appeared in a news segment to offer tips to parents on how to make sure their kids are drinking enough water.

Here are the signs she says to look for:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Child is not sweating enough
  • Warm body temperature
  • Urine is dark yellow and concentrated
  • Child is not performing as well in school as he or she normally does
*A child can develop kidney stones as a result of dehydration, which can be painful and uncomfortable for your child.

Dr. Safder recommends 8 – 10 cups of water a day for kids as a good rule of thumb, plus more if your child is actively playing outside for long periods of time. She also encourages parents to limit sugary drinks, such as sports drinks and juice, which can lead to additional health issues. Water is the best option for kids, even when running around outside in the heat.

Here are some tips to help encourage your child to drink more water:

  • Serve water with ice to make it more refreshing and appealing to your child.
  • Flavor the water naturally by adding slices of fruit or fruit that has been cut into cubes and frozen. Lemons, oranges, and strawberries are great options when adding sliced fruit to your child’s water. Watermelon, honeydew and blueberries would be great ice cube replacements when frozen!
  • Always have a water bottle filled and ready to go that your child can easily grab out of the refrigerator when thirsty. Have them pick out their favorite bottle at the store to get them even more excited about using it at home and reserve the use of the bottle for water only.
For more ideas, see this post on .

How do you encourage your child to drink more water at home? Share with us in the comments below!