When it is hot outside there is nothing like a cool glass of water, and that is just what the body needs! When it is warm, the body regulates is internal temperature by sweating. Depending on the temperature and the amount of activity a lot of body fluids can be lost through the skin. This means that more water is needed to prevent dehydration. This is especially important for children.
Dehydration on warm days can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Heat cramps are painful muscle cramps in the stomach, arms or legs. Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions requiring immediate care. Especially with heat stroke, a trip to the closest emergency room is imparative. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, muscle pain and sometimes unconsciousness. While a temperature of 40 or higher with symptoms similar to heat exhaustion and disorientation, lack of perspiration, shortness of breath, or unconsciousness indicate a heat stroke.
The best way to prevent these serious conditions is to keep your children and yourself hydrated. There are many liquids to choose from, but remember the body perspires water and salt, not juice or soda. That’s why water is the best liquid. So how do you know if you and your children are getting enough water? Look at the color of the urine. If it is dark, instead of light yellow or clear, there is a danger of dehydration. Also, don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking. You are already on the way to dehydration by the time the body sends out thirst signals.
So this summer enjoy the heat and the great outdoors, but enjoy it wisely with plenty of water!