When weather gets hotter, the more your child perspires and the chances of getting dehydrated are higher. Dehydration is a condition in which children lose too much water (through sweating and urinating) and they fail to replenish these losses.
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Loss of appetite
- Cry without tears
- Increased heart rate
- General flu-like feeling (sometimes nausea and vomiting)
- A dry mouth
- Reduced frequency of urination
- Sunken eyes
Dehydration, if left untreated, can lead to heat exhaustion, a rise in body temperature.
If you see serious symptoms like vomiting for more than 24 hours, sunken eyes, or wrinkled skin, seek medical help immediately.
However, the good news is dehydration is 100% preventable.
Here are some practical tips to prevent your child from being dehydrated this summer:
1. Wear light colored clothes. They reflect the heat. Dark colors absorb heat. Choose the proper color for your child to wear outdoor.
2. Drink plenty of water. Water is still the best drink. It should be taken a little at a time, not gulped down. Apart from staying hydrated, here are the 9 reasons to drink water and how to form the water habit. Having problems getting your toddler to drink water? Check out this little trick.
3. Avoid the sun. Obviously, the best is to stay away from the sun. Schedule your activities either in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid being in the sun during the hottest period of the day.
4. Acclimate to the heat slowly. Let your child exposed to the heat gradually. Don’t stay in the sun for too long. Start from a few minutes and then increase slowly to a longer period.
5. Make your own fan. Use a book, newspaper, paper plate, or picnic tablecloth to keep your child cool. Better still, carry a small battery-operated fan.
6. Eat more fruits and vegetables. They contain a fairly high water content – to replenish water losses – and minerals too. Tip: Getting kids to eat vegetables and fruits.
7. Slow down. If your child is doing something under the sun, do it slower than the usual pace.
8. Wear a hat. To protect from the sun, give your child a hat to wear. Preferably one that covers the neck and well ventilated, such as fisherman’s hats or straw hats.
9. Check the weather. If the weatherman says it’s going to be a hot day, stay away from outdoor activities and let your child have fun indoor instead.
10. Don’t bear your chest. It’s not sexy to bear your chest in the heat of summer. Your child picks up more heat if he’s shirtless.
11. Wear cotton and polyester blends. This combination breathes better than 100% cotton or nylon.
12. Carry spare clothes. If your child’s shirt gets wet, change it immediately.
13. Cool off with water. Spray or splash your child with water to cool off. It’s a fun game too for the summer.
14. Bring an umbrella. If you child doesn’t like to wear a hat, let him carry a child’s umbrella or you carry for him when you go out.
15. Go to a mall. If you don’t want to foot the electricity bill, go to a nearby air-conditioned mall to enjoy the cool air there — for free. Make sure there’s something for the kids to keep them occupied.
Other useful resources:
Dehydration in Children Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Dehydration in Children Treatment