Summer is zipping by and perhaps your children are spending a lot of time outside. Last time, we talked about how to prevent sunburn. Today, we are covering another common summer ailment: dehydration.

It is always important to keep your children hydrated, and this is especially true in the summer heat. As the body loses water through sweating, it is necessary to replenish that loss by drinking water. Pedialyte and Gatorade are also good choices for hydration.

There are symptoms you can watch for to know whether your child is dehydrated: dry or sticky mouth, no tears, eyes that look sunken in the head, lack of urine, dry skin, tiredness, irritability, or dizziness.

To prevent dehydration, make sure your children drink plenty of water throughout the day. If they are engaged in physical activity – indoors or out – or if they are even just sitting outside in the heat, have them drink something every 20 minutes. Don’t wait for them to tell you they are thirsty. At that point, they may already be dehydrated.

If your child experiences severe symptoms of dehydration, bring them to urgent care. There may be something bigger happening that needs to be addressed. Severe conditions of dehydration should be seen in the ER.

Dehydration doesn’t only happen in summer. It can occur any time they aren’t drinking enough water. It also can occur when your child is sick, especially if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. If your child has either of these problems and can’t keep water in their body, bring them to urgent care. It is possible they may need further assistance in getting fluids into their body.

Dehydration is often preventable. Make sure your kids have easy access to cold water and that they drink it regularly throughout the day.

Source: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/dehydration.html