Prioritize Hydration for Summer Adventures 

Expert tips to keep kids hydrated in the summer heat

Parents should make sure their kids drink plenty of water in the hot summer months to stay healthy and active. Dr. John McBride, a doctor with Franklin Park Pediatrics, shares important tips for keeping kids hydrated in hot weather.

Drink fluids throughout the Day

McBride emphasizes encouraging children to stay hydrated by consistently drinking fluids, particularly water, throughout the day. He suggests that regularly consuming small amounts of fluids is more beneficial than drinking a large quantity all at once.

This method helps keep your body hydrated and prevents discomfort and bloating by drinking water in smaller amounts throughout the day. 

Choose water over sugary drinks

When choosing the proper fluids, McBride suggests that water or flavored water is the best choice 95% of the time.  “Electrolyte fluids, like Powerade or Gatorade, are only necessary during intense or prolonged workouts, such as sports practices,” he explains. 

While sports drinks can help speed rehydration due to their sugar content, they can contribute to weight gain if consumed regularly without accompanying exercise. “For everyday hydration, stick to water or low-calorie flavored options like Propel or G2 Gatorade,” McBride advises.

It is important for kids to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially when they are playing outside in the summer. Photo from Pexels.

Take frequent breaks during sports

Staying adequately hydrated is extremely important when engaging in physical activities. McBride recommends that children take regular breaks to drink water and to lower their body temperature while participating in sports. These breaks support optimal hydration and allow the body to recuperate from the effects of heat and physical strain.

Tips for picky drinkers

McBride has practical suggestions for children who are picky about non-sugary drinks. “I recommend flavored water, as it can be more appealing to kids than plain water,” he notes. He also reminds that low-calorie sports drinks like G2 Gatorade can be a good alternative.

Another fun and effective way to keep kids hydrated is by offering popsicles made from real fruit juice or incorporating hydrating fruits into their diet. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries and peaches have high water content, which makes them tasty while boosting hydration.

Practical hydration tips for parents

  • Set a schedule: Encourage your child to drink water regularly throughout the day. Setting specific times for hydration can help establish a routine.
  • Make it fun: Use colorful cups or straws to make drinking water more exciting for kids. You can also involve them in creating their own fruit-infused water.
  • Set a good example: Children frequently imitate the actions of their parents. Make sure to drink water regularly and show enthusiasm for staying hydrated.
  • Keep water accessible: Always have water available, whether you’re at home, at the park or on a road trip. Portable water bottles are an excellent investment.

Following these essential tips, parents can help their children stay healthy and well-hydrated during the summer. It’s crucial to ensure that kids remain properly hydrated to support their overall well-being, to safeguard against heat-related illnesses and to allow them to fully engage in summer activities.

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