Playing outside is a summertime staple for young kids. Whether it’s sports or a neighborhood game of soccer, kids love to get outside and be active together. As parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to keep our kids safe during summer playtime, and proper hydration is truly essential to ensuring their health on hot summer days. We have the information you need for how to identify dehydration in your child, and tips for getting them to grab their water bottles without you telling them to do it.

Signs of Dehydration

After a long day of playing in the sun, your child could be at risk of dehydration. Check out these signs of dehydration in kids from Kids Health:

  • Dry/sticky mouth
  • Little or no tears when crying
  • Sunken eyes
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness/dizziness

We know that kids can hide it when they are not feeling well when they are playing with their friends, so if you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to start the rehydration process!

How & Why to Hydrate

Did you know that children are at greater risk of dehydration than adults? One of the main reasons why is because they don’t always recognize when they are thirsty or may forget to drink when they are having fun being active with friends (Healthy Kids). To help your kid stay hydrated on days when they are especially physically active, you should encourage them to drink before leaving the house, packing them a water bottle to drink during activity, and give them a big glass of water immediately when they return home.

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If your child is one who doesn’t like water or fights you when you try to get them to drink it, you can try some of these tricks from Healthy Kids to help keep them hydrated:

  • Add slices of fruit (lemon, orange, berries, etc.) to their water
  • Let your kid pick out their own water bottle
  • Be a role model and drink water with your kids!
  • Try other healthy alternatives (sparkling water, 100% juice, etc.)

When you employ these steps, you help your child stay healthy and help them build a great habit when it comes to staying hydrated.