Ways To Keep Your Child Properly Hydrated

Children are usually active and stay most of the time outside to play, especially when the weather is clement. Even when the activities that they engage in are quite intense and makes them sweat a lot, they would rather spend their time with friends in the sun. Teaching them the value of proper hydration and encouraging them to bring one of the best water bottles for kids will make it easier for them to follow a systematic hydration plan.

If you are a parent of children or a child, you should understand, however, that active children’s body does not adjust well to hot temperatures (temperatures greater than 95°F), unlike adults. They produce more heat when engaging in physical activities but sweat less than adults. As a result, body heat is not released as much as it should leading to dehydration.

Aside from this, a child’s thirst mechanism is not properly functioning, hence they may not recognize the signal properly. Most of the time, they take a thirst for hunger. There are times when children totally ignore the signal, especially when they are totally focused on what they are doing. As they don’t drink enough to replace the body fluids they lose during prolonged activity as they are having fun, they become dehydrated in the process or develop other potentially life-threatening heat illnesses. As such, they will need someone to look after them or constantly remind them that they need to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout the day.

To encourage your child to stay properly hydrated as they are playing outdoors, consider these tips:

Make sure that you are totally aware of the physical condition of your child. Remember that a child who is physically fit may not adjust well in the heat. Note that an overweight child or one that is not used to doing exercises should be forced to engage in prolonged activities right away. They need to start slow or they may lose body water and get dehydrated faster. Dehydration of more than 3% of body weight may lead to a heat-related illness. If  your child is participating in organized sports, you may need to talk with her or his coach to set practice schedules during cooler hours, when the child can perform best but will lose less water in the process.

Allow your child’s body to get used to the higher temperature. Do this slowly, however. Introduce your young athlete to higher temperatures so the child can get acclimatized soon. Increase the intensity and length of workouts a period of two weeks. This way their bodies will be accustomed to drink more, increase blood volume, and sweat more. Sweating not only releases toxins in the body, but it also helps release heat to maintain the temperature balance in the body.

As you train your child’s body to get acclimatized to higher environmental heat, you need to make sure that they get plenty of water to drink. Teach them the value of safe hydration, which means drinking regularly and not only when they feel that they are thirsty. Encourage them to bring a water bottle wherever they go so they can just sip smartly. They should not be encouraged to just wait for a break when they can look for a water source or a vending machine where they can find what they think can quench their thirst. If you already know what’s in their water bottle, you won’t have to worry whether they are drinking safe water or something else. Note that while sports drinks may be fine for some kids during periods of heavy activity, these water alternatives may also contain high levels of sugar. Their taste can also improve a kids’ desire to drink, but they should be provided during exercises only.

You also need that your child takes frequent breaks, especially if he or she exercises hard or engages in sports on hot days. Make sure that their time on the playing field is cut back to limit their exposure to the heat and to allow them to enjoy much-needed breaks. They should also be taught that hydration starts even before they begin to play. And as they play, both the child’s coach and you, the parent or guardian, should make sure that your child drink often. You can help them set automatic notifications on their phones or watches to remind them to take a sip after about every 20 minutes.

Note that although there are certain factors that may affect a child’s water requirement such as age, sex, environmental conditions, as well as possible psychological influences (taste and color of the available fluid, distance from the water source, etc.). However, there is a general recommendation that health organizations, like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that indicate the following beverage and water requirement for kids, as follows:

Age Range         Gender                 Total Water (Cups/Day)

4 to 8 years        Girls and Boys                      7

9 to 13 years      Girls                                     9

Boys                                   10

14 to 18 years     Girls                                   10

Boys                                   14

You should also make yourself regularly notified of changing weather conditions so you can plan accordingly. Get acquainted with the heat index. This is a measure of how hot it really feels when the actual air temperature in combination with humidity. Take note that your child should not be training, exercising, or engaged in any prolonged activity when the relative humidity is 35% and the air temperature is 95°F as this may lead to cause heat illness. Even if the climate is dry humidity can still be high if, for instance, the sprinkler systems are set to run before early morning practices. Make sure that you won’t let your child have practices or training sessions during the hottest time of the day. The hardest workouts should be set during early morning or late afternoon/evening.

As the clothes that your child may wear during these activities may also affect how the child’s body may respond to environmental heat, you need to make sure that they wear appropriate clothes. Encourage them to wear lightweight, light-colored clothes. If they will need to use heavy equipment and pads, they should first train in lighter clothes for a week to acclimate their bodies, before they put on the bulky uniform.

Conclusion

Make sure that you watch your kids closely, in cases that you are allowed to or can do so. Watch out for any signs of dehydration or other problems before, during, and after the activity, event or training. Pay special attention when your kid/kids is/are eagerly competing or performing beyond his/their capacities.

Finally, always have an emergency plan. Make sure that not only you are aware of these safety precautions. Make sure that you communicate with all trained support staff who knows how to administer first aid as well as what to do during an emergency.

Things to Remember When Hiking in Hot Weather

Nature and everything outside the boundaries of the house or the office are things that an avid outdoor person would always want to be near to. Even if the road is not as pleasant as it may be, or the weather is not as fair as one would rather have, those who look for adventure will always find reasons to go out and explore the outdoors. It will naturally be exhausting and you would just want to have a sip from one of the best water bottles for hiking every now and then.

Fortunately, even if it‘s scorching hot outside, you can always go out for a hike. If you follow the following tips, you’ll know for sure that you will have all the benefits that going for a hike provides. Just be careful, plan ahead, and follow the guidelines below for that remarkable day out in the sun.

Hike when the weather is favorable

Don’t just assume that the trail will be as smooth as you have wanted it to be. Even before you consider to go for a hike, make sure that you are certain of what the day’s weather will bring to you. Don’t just trust your feelings or the sky and the color of the clouds. You need to be certain that the place where you are heading will be safe or that there is no storm or heavy rains expected to pour by the time you reach your destination.

Checking the weather forecast may spare you of any unnecessary troubles. Remember that mountainous destinations often times have their own unpredictable weather. Blitz storms or thunderstorms can also be potential hazards to an unaware hiker. So, check the weather forecast before you head out and once you arrive at your destination or the park.

Opt for a safe trail

Even the most experienced hikers are not spared by treacherous trails, so make sure that you choose your trail wisely. Whether you will be hiking on a hot weather or otherwise, you will need to choose for a trail that runs along or crosses a running water. You can freshen up or cool down and refill your water bottle with some of the water from the water from the river or any nearby water source.

Exposed mountain ridges or a shady forest may present dangers that you should be prepared. For your first few hikes, you need to make sure that you opt for the safest routes. Pick one where there are few shaded regions.

You should also consider a trail at a lower elevation. Note that the amount of oxygen is indirectly proportional to the surface elevation. There is also a greater chance that you will get sunburned easily at higher elevation the effect of UV rays will be stronger there.

Start early morning or late in the afternoon or evening

Hiking when the weather is too hot is quite inconvenient. If you would still want to explore and maximize your accomplishment for the day, it is best that you start early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening. Instead of continuing on with the hike, spend the midday, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty, take some rest, and recharge.

Dress appropriately

The hot weather may want you to think that it is better to strip. However, as the route that you will take may have so many surprises to bring (weeds, mosquitoes and other insects, slippery mountainsides, rocky plateau, uphills and downhills, and so on), you may need to dress otherwise. Loose fitting tops, like long sleeve shirts paired with hiking pants, is a better option for you.

Dressing a few layers will provide multiple air layers that will also keep you cool. You can also opt to wear synthetic clothes that absorb or draw off moisture. This will help prevent more moisture (from your sweat..yes, you’ll definitely sweat a lot!) clinging on your skin and prevent chafing.

It is recommended that you wear a large hiking hat, plenty of sunscreens that provides full-spectrum protection, as well as a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses.

Stay properly hydrated

We are all aware of the necessity of proper hydration, especially when you are hiking in a weather. Your body will lose more body water when you are hiking. And if you are hiking when the weather is quite hot, then the amount of water that you will lose will definitely be more. Make sure you hydrate even before you step out for a hike at remain properly hydrated throughout your hike.

Needless to say, you will need one of the best water bottles for hiking as this will provide much of the fluid that you will need while on the trail. It is also best that you much some energy bars and other high water content foods.

Replace lost electrolytes

When you do strenuous activities like hiking, you continuously lose not just body water but e electrolytes (potassium, sodium, and so on) as well. Snacks with complex carbs will easily restore these electrolytes and keep you going longer.

Bring all the extras that you may need along the way

Bring an extra pair of hiking socks, upper garments, extra sunscreen, insect repellant, and any other extras that you can stuff on your backpack. Just make sure that your backpack will still be light or you’ll get exhausted easier since you’d be carrying that heavy luggage throughout the hike. For sure you will sweat a lot and changing those dirty socks and tops will really be a relief. If there’s a river along the path, you may want to rinse your dirty socks in it. Then, tie them to your backpack to dry.

Take regular breaks

You will need to give your body the much-needed rest after you have walked long enough. Take some time to cool down and let your sweat evaporate.

Be aware of signs of dehydration and heat strokes

Hiking in hot weather will not always be 100% successful. You need to make sure that your body is at its best throughout your hike. However, there are times that you may just forget about the basics like proper hydration and lead to serious conditions like dehydration or heat strokes.

Take note of the cues that your body is sending. If you feel any of these symptoms, find the nearest shade to cool down and hydrate. Nausea, muscle cramps, bad headache, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, and lack of sweating, even when temperatures are high.

If you or anyone with you feel any of these symptoms, get off the trail immediately and seek medical assistance.

If you want to have a successful hiking experience, you need to plan ahead, be ready, and follow these guidelines. Do you have other tips to share? Perhaps share your hiking experience in the comment section below.