As football practices and other outdoor activities begin, dangerous temperatures can mean dehydration and other heat-related illnesses.
Scott & White pediatrician at the College Station Clinic, Daniel G. Ransom, MD, offers some tips to help parents protect their children while they’re playing in the heat.
“Make sure they drink plenty of fluids, even if they are not thirsty,” Dr. Ransom said, “Rotate drinking water with electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade.”
Dehydration is common in youth sports, and if your child is complaining of being thirsty, they may already be losing fluids.
Dr. Ransom said the first step in preventing dehydration is to get your child acclimated to the heat.
“Make sure they drink plenty of fluids, even if they are not thirsty”
Riding bikes, swimming, washing cars or playing in the backyard can help get your child active outside and used to the heat, the pediatrician said.
Gradually increase the amount of activity your child does each day. It may take up to two weeks for your child to become acclimated to the heat.
“Dressing your kids in clothing that are breathable, light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting is also a good idea,” Dr. Ransom said.
Encourage your child to know the symptoms of dehydration, so they know when to take a break.
“Tell your child not be afraid to speak-up to their coach if they feel any symptoms of dehydration,” Dr. Ransom said.
Symptoms of Dehydration:
- Dry mouth
Prevention is the key to staying hydrated. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids before, during and after practice.
“Invest in a reusable water bottle,” Dr. Ransom said, “Your child will always have something to drink during outdoor activities.”
What ways have you found to help keep your kids hydrated during outdoor play?
Written by Elizabeth Dusold