Did you know that dehydration is one of the most common causes of hospitalization in children? It’s true! And it’s not just hot summer days that can cause dehydration. Children can become dehydrated at any time of year, from playing in the snow to sweating during a soccer game. In this blog post, we will discuss six reasons why hydration is so important for your children. Keep reading to learn more!
When Does Dehydration Occur?
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. This can happen because of illness, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, or not drinking enough fluids. When children are dehydrated, they may have a dry mouth and lips, feel tired or dizzy, have a headache, or urinate less frequently. If dehydration is severe, it can lead to serious health problems such as heat stroke, seizures, and even death. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of dehydration and how to prevent it. Let’s check out six reasons why hydration is so important for your children.
1. It Boosts Energy Levels
When children are properly hydrated, they have more energy to play and be active. Dehydration can cause fatigue, so make sure your child is drinking enough fluids throughout the day. The type of fluid doesn’t matter as much as the amount. Water, milk, juice, and even sodas can all help to rehydrate the body. Of course, it is ideal to encourage your child to drink water or milk most of the time. If you notice your child is tired or lethargic, have them drink a glass of water and see if that helps.
In addition, sugary drinks should be limited because they can cause cavities. If your child is active in sports, make sure they are drinking fluids before, during, and after exercise. Sports drinks can be a good option for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating.
2. It Aids in Digestion
Proper hydration is important for digestion. When children drink enough fluids, it helps to soften their stools and prevents constipation. It also flushes toxins out of the body and prevents dehydration-related problems such as kidney stones. Therefore, it is important to know the quality of water your child drinks. If you want to be sure your water is free of impurities, make sure to experiment with different water filter cartridges until you find the one that works for you. In addition, drinking water with meals can help children feel fuller and eat less. This is especially important if you are trying to control your child’s weight. On the other side, not drinking enough fluids can lead to dehydration, which can cause gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
If your child doesn’t like plain water and you are concerned about them becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can do. Add some fruit slices or mint leaves to their water for flavor. You can also try sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea. Just make sure that their beverage of choice doesn’t contain caffeine, which can actually dehydrate the body.
3. It Improves Brain Function
Dehydration can cause problems with brain function. When children are dehydrated, they may have trouble concentrating, experience headaches, and feel dizzy or lightheaded. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to seizures. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids during the day. This will help them to focus and concentrate in school and prevent headaches. If you are unsure if your child is dehydrated, check for signs such as a dry mouth or lips, fatigue, dizziness, or headache. You can also check their urine color. If it is dark yellow or orange, this is a sign of dehydration. Have them drink a glass of water and see if their symptoms improve.
4. It Prevents Kidney Stones
Dehydration is a common cause of kidney stones. When the body doesn’t have enough fluids, it will start to break down stored minerals to make up for the lack of fluid. This can lead to the formation of kidney stones. In addition, dehydration can cause the kidneys to work less effectively, which can lead to problems such as urinary tract infections. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids throughout the day. This will help to prevent kidney stones and keep the kidneys healthy.
Moreover, the danger of kidney stones increases during the hot summer months. This is because dehydration is more likely to occur when it’s hot outside. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
5. It Regulates Body Temperature
Fluids play an important role in regulating body temperature. When the body is dehydrated, it will sweat less, which can lead to overheating. In addition, dehydration can cause problems with blood circulation, which can make it difficult for the body to regulate its temperature. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids in hot weather or when they are participating in activities that make them sweat. This will help to prevent overheating and maintain a normal body temperature.
Also, when it’s cold outside, the body needs fluids to produce warmth. This is because dehydration can cause the body to lose heat more quickly. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids when it’s cold outside or when they are participating in activities that make them sweat.
6. It Boosts Immunity
Dehydration can cause problems with the immune system. When the body is dehydrated, it is not able to produce enough white blood cells to fight off infection. In addition, dehydration can make it difficult for the body to flush out toxins and waste products. This can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body, which can weaken the immune system. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids to keep their immune system healthy and prevent infection.
Not to forget, staying hydrated is especially important during the cold and flu season. This is because dehydration can make it difficult for the body to fight off infection. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of fluids and washing their hands regularly to prevent illness.
These are just a few of the many reasons why hydration is so important for your children. Be sure to encourage them to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and monitor their intake to ensure they are getting enough. If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian.