Summer Smart: Watch for These Signs of Dehydration in Kids

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog |

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Summertime is so awesome. The hours spent running around outside, playing at the park or splashing in the pool, the bright sun in your eyes and your toes in the sand, any way you enjoy the long summer days brings some awesome doses of vitamin D and great family time. But with all of this fun in the sun comes an added risk of dehydration in kids.

Girl Drinking Water to Prevent Dehydration

While we usually think about dehydration in times of illness or an outside concern during exercise or high intensity sports, babies and children are actually at a higher risk of dehydration because of their smaller body weights. Interestingly, those little bodies also go through water (and important electrolytes in water) at a quicker rate than our adult bodies.

Where you live or vacation can also contribute to your children’s risk for dehydration. Higher altitude (above 8,200 feet in elevation) can be a risk factor. As it turns out, when your body works to adjust to higher elevations it may increase urine output as well as your breathing rate, both of which can deplete the water in your system.

Lengthy outdoor playtime, exercise or physical work in high humidity climates can increase risk for your kids as well. The sweat on our bodies cannot evaporate as well in high humidity which can lead to increased body temperatures and a risk for heat stroke along with dehydration.

Kids are typically not very good at monitoring their activity or their water intake daily. It’s important for you to keep an eye on how much water they’re drinking, make them take breaks from the sun and heat at regular intervals, encourage them to alternate water and electrolyte enriched drinks, and get immediate medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Decreased urine output
  • No tears when crying
  • Headache
  • Increased sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Shriveled skin
  • Rapid blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Disorientation