This summer has been a scorcher in Texas, and dehydration is a serious health concern for all ages. The best drink choice for children over the age of 6 months is water. The health benefits of drinking enough water are innumerable, and kids should be encouraged to choose water instead of juice or soft drinks.
One way to make water more interesting for children is to freeze fruit inside ice cubes. They can even help you fill the trays! Special water bottles or cups with silly straws can make drinking water more fun. Its also easy to make your own popsicles with pureed fruit for a summer cool-down.
Children under age 2 should not drink sugary beverages. Even 100% juice should be limited, with no more than 4 ounces per day for ages 1 to 3. Flavored milk is higher in sugar and should be avoided.
Learn the signs of dehydration so you can act quickly. If you notice fewer wet diapers, a lethargic child, no tears when crying, dry lips, flushed skin, and a sunken soft soft, offer milk or water quickly. If you have any concerns about dehydration or a heat-related illness, dont hesitate to call your pediatrician. If your child becomes extremely lethargic or unresponsive, vomits, stops sweating, or complains of severe abdominal pain, head to your local emergency room or call 911.
Take a few minutes to pack water bottles before your family heads out the door. Model good behavior by choosing to drink water, and your child will learn healthy habits that last a lifetime.