Summer is a great time for your preschoolers to play outside, but those little bodies are more prone to dehydration than adults are. The heat can put them even more at risk for dehydration. Taking some simple steps can make sure your preschoolers stay hydrated and stay safe this summer.
Hydration Beyond Water
Drinking liquids throughout the day is important, but be sure to give them some Gatorade or Powerade along with water. These sports drinks help to replace sugars and electrolytes lost during sweating that can’t be replaced by water alone. Kids should be drinking 6-8 drinks per day to stay healthy and hydrated, so don’t just wait until they are thirsty and ask for a drink. At that point, kids are already somewhat dehydrated.
Keep fruit and veggies around for your preschooler to snack on. Fruit is a good source of fiber and made mostly of water to help aid in hydration. Watermelon, grapes, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes are all good examples of water-rich foods. Sugar free popsicles are also good ideas for a cool treat that also helps keep them hydrated.
Drinks to Avoid
Limit the consumption of fruit juices and caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is a diuretic, which dehydrates the body. Kids lose water quicker than adults do, so one caffeinated beverage for a kid takes more than one caffeinated beverage for an adult. Fruit juices contain a lot of added sugar which slows the absorption and can cause kids to gain weight if they drink too much of it.
There are a lot of ways to keep your little ones hydrated, including flavored waters if they think regular water is too bland. But staying hydrated is important, especially for small bodies. Severe dehydration can cause kids to get very sick and even be fatal. Just remember to give everyone plenty of liquids this summer so everyone can stay healthy and have fun.
At Primary Beginnings we know how important it is for little bodies to stay hydrated. That’s why we provide healthy meals and snacks that keep them at their very best. With our new Farm to Child Care program, we receive fresh fruits and vegetables right from local farms right to our Raleigh preschool, helping us keep your preschoolers happy, healthy, and hydrated.