Is there really any risk of dehydration in children who are active in sports?
It’s a cold autumn day and you are watching your child play a game of soccer.
As you stand on the sideline in your sweatshirt and beanie, it is hard to imagine that he/she could be getting dehydrated.
Unfortunately, millions of children are not getting the proper hydration they need before, during, and after sporting events or practice sessions.
As a parent, you may have heard about the risks of dehydration in children who are involved in sports. Making sure your young athlete stays hydrated is important for their fitness as well as their health and safety.
Since many children these days are drinking so many other beverages in place of water, the risk of dehydration in children who are athletes is increasing because they are already dehydrated!
Water makes up about 75 percent of children’s muscle tissue. Thus, it makes sense that in order to keep their muscles functioning well, they need to stay hydrated with clean water.
In addition, water regulates body temperature, aids digestion, cushions joints, transports nutrients to the cell, and removes toxins. Proper hydration can also minimize the amount of muscle soreness after exercise.
When your child plays a sport, they lose valuable fluids through sweating and hard breathing. If they are not refueling their fluids, or if they are already low, they could easily suffer from dehydration.
Dehydration can cause a lack of response from the muscles, affecting their performance. When dehydrated, your children will tire much faster and more often -- and will usually be irritable to boot.
The more serious effects of dehydration can include heat exhaustion, a heat stroke, an increased heart rate, and body temperature rising to dangerous levels.
Dehydration in children and young adults can easily be avoided.
It begins with educating your child (and possibly his/her coach) on how to stay properly hydrated and why it’s important.
The following are guidelines for when and how much water your child should drink for sporting events and practices.
Notice that the age and weight will affect how much water your child should drink within the range of ounces.
Before (1-2 Hours)
Right Before (10-15 Minutes)
During (Every 20 minutes)
After (Within Two Hours)
If you follow these guidelines seriously, you will have one less thing to worry about as you watch your kid go for that goal!
Further reading . . .