When you look back at your childhood it’s safe to assume you remember all the good times you had playing with friends, riding your bike, and simply exhausting yourself.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a good time, kids don’t typically take the time to think about their health and well-being. As a result, it’s possible that dehydration could set in.
Get this: water is every bit as important to your child as it is to you, if not more. With this in mind, you should encourage your child to drink water throughout the day, not just when they are thirsty.
The Symptoms of Dehydration
There’s a big difference between a thirsty child and one with dehydration, but it’s important to understand the symptoms nonetheless:
- Impaired cognition, such as not being able to form clear thoughts
- Mood swings
- Frequent headaches
- Short attention span, such as the inability to pay attention at school
- Dry lips and skin
- Concentrated (gold-colored) urine
- Crying without the production of tears
Regular Water Intake is a Must
Since you’re serious about the health of your child, it’s a must to ensure that he or she drinks enough water. Here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind:
- Infants under the age of 4: drink 4 to 6 glasses of water a day
- Children aged 4 – 13: drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day
Water intake is based on a variety of factors, including:
- Age of the child
- Body mass
- Climate conditions (hot weather may call for more hydration)
- Physical activity level
How to Keep Your Child Hydrated
Although you understand the importance of keeping your child hydrated, he or she may not comply. Here are some top tips to follow:
- Create a regular routine for your child, such as drinking two glasses of water in the morning, to get him or her in the habit
- Explain to your child the importance of remaining hydrated and how to do so
- Find creative ways to make drinking water fun, such as by giving it to your child in his or her favorite cup
When a child doesn’t get enough water they can face a variety of serious health concerns, some of which can have a long-term impact.
If you have any reason to believe your child isn’t drinking enough water, it’s time to find out why and then make some immediate changes.
Once your child gets on the right track, you can rest easy in knowing that they will always be hydrated.