With temperatures rising in summer, the problem of dehydration in children as well as adults also increases. Young children are worst affected by the heat conditions, as they have to go school and play so their body gets exhausted by the end of the day.
Dehydration occurs when our body loses a significant amount of fluids as well as other essential salts and minerals. Experts suggest that children have a greater risk of dehydration and exhaustion because they sweat less, they produce more heat while playing and they are more exposed to sun rays in summer. Sometimes, children don’t even understand the feeling of thirst while playing and they largely rely on parents or adults to get sufficient fluids.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that guardians have to be proactive and enforce periodic drinks every 20 minutes, even if the child hasn’t complained of feeling thirsty. In summer particularly, it’s a duty of the guardian to understand the signs and symptoms of dehydration in their children and ensure they maintain sufficient water level and remain hydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration:
The intensity of dehydration can be from mild to severe but even its mild condition can cause discomfort in the people of all ages. The initial signs of dehydration are dry mouth and mild headache, and when the condition worsens, you could experience some other symptoms like:
- Nausea and vomiting
You could feel some more symptoms when dehydration reaches to a critical condition. Such a condition may force you to stop sweating, release less urine amount, inability to produce tears, start feeling of muscle pain or cramp, variation in blood pressure and high fluctuations in heart rate.
Some possible symptoms of extreme dehydration are:
- Very little or no urination
- Rough skin
- Sunken eyes
- Extreme thirst
- Extremely dry mouth and mucus membranes
- Lack of sweating
- Low blood pressure
Don’t take these signs of dehydration in children lightly; it may raise serious consequences. There are some effective tips to avoid dehydration in kids during summers. As a guardian, you should know and learn these tips to keep your children and yourself hydrated and healthy.
Drink plenty of water:
Water is the most important fluid that your body needs to stay hydrated. During summer, you are bound to lose a considerable amount of fluid through sweating, so drinking plenty of water is necessary to maintain its level in the body. Experts advise to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day for adults and about 3 glasses of water for children. The requirement of this fluid varies from person to person depending on his or her weight, height, physical activity, geographical location where they live in. Those who do intense exercise require a higher amount of water for hydration. Water alone can deal with the problem of dehydration in children, so please ensure they drink it in sufficient amount.
Take coconut water and sports drinks:
As we sweat more in exercise and sports activities, a higher amount of water is needed to keep the body hydrated. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes that are minerals found in the blood. Therefore, our body demands something extra to run smoothly. In this regard, sports drinks and coconut water are very fruitful. Such drinks compensate the loss of electrolytes. You can also drink homemade sports drinks for hydration.
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Check the urine color:
At any time in summer when you hit the toilet, just check the color of your urine to make sure if your body is really dehydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow color and if you feel mild inflammation while releasing it; it means your body needs water. And if the urine is pale yellow in color; it indicates that your body is hydrated enough.
Curb on spicy foods:
Spicy foods increase internal body temperature so they require more body fluids to digest. Sometimes, the intake of spicy foods and at the same time the lack of enough body fluids can cause health problems like heartburn, gas or acidity, which could be the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Although you should not completely avoid spicy foods to keep your body hydrated.
The more you are exposed to sun, the larger the amount of water your body loses. Staying indoors during summer is the best way to avoid dehydration. During midday, especially between 12 pm to 4 pm, when the sun is the most penetrative in summer, you lose more fluids from your body. Even if you have to venture outdoors, cover your body properly and take precautions to hydrate your body.
Food products for hydration:
There are some particular food items recommended to maintain the water level in the body. Some of these food products include:
- Citrus fruits