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Tips for keeping your kids hydrated this summer

Author John Thompson
Submitted 05-08-2010

With temperatures soaring to record levels across the country this summer, kids are at a high risk of dehydration.

"It’s always important to keep your kids hydrated, but when you’re dealing with this kind of heat it can be especially dangerous," said pediatrician Dr Sean Cahill. "Dehydration puts kids at risk for heat related illnesses like heat stroke. They can suffer from rhabdomyolysis, which is when their muscles break down and this process leads to kidney failure and damaged muscle cells from crystals in the urine."

Among the parenting advice tips to help kids avoid dehydration is to limit activity when it’s hottest out (usually mid- to late-afternoon), be prepared by always having water on hand and taking frequent water breaks.

"Kids get so caught up in what they are doing that they don’t stop for a drink of water. All they want to do is get back out there and play. It’s our job to make sure they’re hydrated," Cahill said.

Signs of dehydration include no tears when crying, sunken eyes, tenting of the skin when pinched and decreased urine output.

"Your child should urinate at least four times a day. The urine should be clear. If it is yellow and smells very strong this could be a sign your child is not drinking enough," said Cahill.