By Dr. Eric Pearce, Parker University
As the temperatures continue to soar this summer, many North Texas parents are concerned about making sure their children are staying hydrated – and with good reason. As the August heat makes the steady climb to 100+ degrees each day here in Texas, children are at great risk of becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration can occur in children before a parent even realizes it, especially when children spend a lot of time outdoors. Most children do not think to stop, drink water, and rest when they are having fun, exercising, or participating in sports. And thirst is not a reliable indicator of hydration status.
How can you tell if your child is staying hydrated? The simplest way to tell if your child is drinking enough water is to check the color of your child’s urine. If the urine is clear then your child’s water balance is normal. If urine is dark, this may indicate they are not getting enough water. So what can you as a parent do to help your children stay hydrated in the Texas heat?
Water is the best way to stay hydrated. Water’s major function is to regulate body temperature. Eric Pearce, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinic Faculty Director at Parker University Chiropractic Wellness Clinic in Dallas, recommends that children drink between six to eight, 8 ounce glasses of water each day while teens and adults should be drinking 11-12 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
“It is very important to consume the recommended amount of water for normal brain function,” says Dr. Pearce. “Water makes up 80% of the brain and is an essential element in neurological transmissions. Poor hydration adversely affects a child’s mental performance and learning ability.”
Yet getting your child to actually consume eight, 8 ounce glasses of water a day may be a challenge for some parents. So are there any good alternatives? Dr. Pearce recommends introducing your child to multiple water based foods throughout the day to help reach the recommended amount of water. “All melons, grapefruit, coconut, cucumber, tomato, and broccoli have very high water content that can help your child reach his/her daily water intake,” says Dr. Pearce.
Parker University Chiropractic Wellness Clinics can also measure the amount of hydration within the body by conducting a Body Mass Index. Talk with your doctor at your next visit to see if checking your hydration levels with the Body Mass Index is right for you.
For more information on staying hydrated, especially for athletes of all ages, like us on http://www.facebook.com/ParkerClinics and see more hydration tips from Dr. Pearce as it relates to athletes during the month of August.