How to Keep Your Kids Hydrated and Safe

How to Keep Your Kids Hydrated and Safe

With the temperature going up, it is important to make sure your kids get the correct amount of fluid to stay hydrated.

Youths are at an increased risk of dehydration because they absorb more heat from the environment than adults do and they store less water. Water helps cool the body through sweating and evaporation. A way to help cool the body is to increase the fluids your child consumes before during and after activity.

Here are some guidelines for hydrations for different age groups for before, during, and after sports activity.

Ages 6-12

Before Activity: 

  • 1 to 2 hours before activity: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
  • 10 to 15 minutes before activity: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water

During Activity

  • Every 20 minutes: 5 to 9 ounces of water or a sports drink, depending on weight (5 for a child weighing 88 pounds, 9 ounces for a child weighing 132 pounds)

After Activity

  • Post-exercise hydration should aim to correct any fluid lost during the practice.
  • Within two hours: 16-24 ounces of water or a sports drink for every pound of weight lost

 

Ages 13-18

Before Activity

  • 1 to 2 hours before activity: 8 to 16 ounces of cold water
  • 10 to 15 minutes before activity: 8 to 12 ounces of cold water

During Activity

  • Every 20 minutes: Between 5 and 10 ounces of water or sports drink

After Activity

  • Post-exercise hydration should aim to correct any fluid lost during the practice.
  • Within two hours: 16-24 ounces of water or a sports drink for every pound of weight lost

 

Here are some other ways to help make sure your children are hydrated:

-Have them weigh in before and after activity. Make sure they regain the weight lost from the previous activity before playing again.

-Encourage children to drink sports drinks. It has been shown that drinking salted drinks (sports drinks) increase voluntary drinking by 90% and prevent dehydration compared to drinking plain water.

-Just because your child may not be thirsty while exercising, it is important for them to still drink.

-Have your child wear light colored and breathable clothing. It will help evaporate sweat and stay cooler.

-Teach your child how to monitor their urine for hydration. If their urine is the color of lemonade or water it’s okay. If their urine is the color of apple juice they are dehydrated.

Here are some links to some groups hydration guidelines

USA Football

Korey Stringer Institute

USA Lacrosse

National Athletic Trainers Association

USA Tennis

 

References

“Hydration and Heat Illness Guidelines from USSF | US Youth Soccer.” US Youth Soccer. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/hydration_and_heat_illness_guidelines_from_ussf/>.

“National Alliance for Youth Sports.” National Alliance for Youth Sports. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nays.org/article/10800-The-drinking-problem-in-youth-sports>.

“Youth Sports Hydration Guidelines.” Youth Sports Hydration Guidelines. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.momsteam.com/nutrition/sports-hydration/fluid-guidelines/fluid-guidelines-for-young-athletes>.

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