Preventing Dehydration in Children

Among the issues that we worry about as parents, our children falling victim to dehydration sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Dehydration is a subtle medical situation that parents need to familiarize themselves with. Whether you’re heading out onto the lake or spending hours in the sun with your kids this summer, here’s how to remain proactive and prepared in the face of danger.


Set Designated Periods for Hydration


Before heading out your front door and out into nature, set aside time to refuel your child’s electrolytes and internal hydration. Rather than wrangling your children in the midst of their activities, let them know you’re going to be stopping them throughout the day to consume fluids. As a rough guideline, we recommend rehydrating every 45 minutes to 1 hour to maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes and energy.


And if you’re confused as to what fluids your child should be consuming to thwart off dehydration symptoms, here’s what we recommend:


  • Water
  • Pedialyte
  • Organic juice
  • Electrolyte-infused beverages
  • Sports drinks with little or no sugar


Never rely on sodas, fizzy drinks, milkshakes or overly-sweetened beverages to curb your child’s dehydration symptoms. If your child needs a sweet taste to consume their product, consider sugar-free additives to liven up the experience. 


How to Spot Dehydration


Sometimes it’s too late to prevent dehydration, and parents need to know what the warning signs are before a significant medical emergency occurs. First and foremost, you’ll notice your child becoming increasingly lethargic and incoherent. If they’re stumbling over their words, failing to stand up under their own power or rambling about random topics, dehydration may be taking effect.


From here, we recommend checking your child’s urine. If you notice dark and cloudy urine with a pungent smell, dehydration may be the culprit. Moreover, here are some other warning signs to consider:


  • Vertigo
  • Dry lips
  • Extreme thirst
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fainting


If these symptoms are present, time is of the essence. First, move your child into a cool area and encourage them to consume fluids. However, don’t force fluids into their system too quickly, as this can have an adverse effect on their biology. If this doesn’t work, consider putting your child into an ice bath to bring their core temperature back into normal ranges.


Although dehydration is easily managed and reversed, prolonged dehydration can cause serious medical issues. And if you’re still confused, reach out to us for tips, tricks and techniques to stay hydrated in the warmer months!