Summer is the time for fun in the sun, however there are some important facts about dehydration you should know while enjoying your summer activities. There are many factors that may contribute to dehydration, particularly during the summer months because we often forget to drink water while participating in leisurely activities outside. Here are a couple things to keep in mind while enjoying the beautiful sun this summer:
Children have a much higher metabolic rate than adults. This means they’re using nutrients, including water, faster than the average adult. Not to mention, their bodies are mostly water. An infant or toddler is made up of more than 70% water. Children and babies quickly lose water while playing outside in the sun. In addition, children’s kidneys do not hold water as well as an adult’s kidneys would. When a child becomes dehydrated they may refuse water, partly due to the fact that they’re not feeling well. However, as their primary caregiver, it’s up to the adult to ensure that proper fluids are provided to children and babies.
Older adults are also at greater risk of dehydration, because they don’t normally feel as thirsty as younger people do and they may not be taking in enough food. We often forget that much of our water intake comes from the foods we eat. Many times, older adults aren’t adequately feeding themselves. This alone could potentially cause dehydration. Additionally, they often choose not to drink simply because they don’t have control of their bladders. We may not even realize that older adults are experiencing dehydration because of the fact that it’s sometimes difficult for them to relay their symptoms effectively to others.
Monitor children and older adults closely, especially if they have a high fever, diarrhea or vomiting, because this can increase their risk of dehydration. Some of the most common symptoms of dehydration include a decrease in urine, dark yellow or amber colored urine, dry mouth, sticky saliva, irritableness and a lack of sweat. If you notice any of these symptoms please be sure to provide yourself with water so your body can get the hydration it needs. Light colored urine is ideal.