A new study at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that more than half of children and teenagers in the nation are not adequately hydrated.The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey sampled 4,134 individuals with ages ranging from 6 to 19 years. The results, gathered from 2009 to 2012, are cause for worry because insignificant hydration can have negative effects on children's physical and mental wellbeing. Many of the common signs of dehydration are dry mouth, fatigue, headache and disorientation, dizziness and an intense thirst. If you notice any of these signs in young children or wish to avoid dehydration, follow these suggestions.
- Drink plenty of water: Though this may seem obvious, it is very important. Each person's daily fluid intake varies depending on factors such as gender, weight and amount of time spent outdoors, yet according to the Institute of Medicine guidelines, children ages 9 to 13 need to have seven to eight cups of fluid a day, while those aged 14 to 18 need between eight and 11 cups. Try keeping water bottles with you when you go out as a necessary precaution.
- No caffeine: If they are playing in the hot outdoors or just extremely active, avoid sugary or highly caffeinated beverages. These substances will not keep you or your children hydrated as they act as a diuretic that causes a further loss of liquid.
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