Staying Healthy & Safe in the Heat
The summer months have arrived here in Central Florida, and you know what that means – hot weather! While we all know the high temperatures and humidity levels are uncomfortable at times, they can also be dangerous to your health. Dehydration can have serious effects on a person of any age; however, some age groups are at a higher risk than others. We’ve gathered some tips and tricks for keeping every member of your family hydrated and healthy while having fun in the sun!
Hydration Tips for Children
- High risk for dehydration – Children often become dehydrated more quickly than adults. This is because children may not notice the effects of dehydration while they’re busy playing and being active. Kids can’t always clearly communicate how they are feeling to adults. It is important for parents and caretakers to keep a close eye on children while playing in the hot sun.
- How much to drink – According to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, children should be drinking 8 ounces of water for each year of their age each day. For example, a 2-year-old should drink 16 ounces of water a day, while a 5-year-old should drink 40 ounces a day. All children over the age of 8 should be drinking 64 ounces of water per day.
- Other recommended drinks – If your kiddo is a little picky and you have a hard time getting them to drink enough water, other beverages that replenish electrolytes or milk can offer hydration. Fruit and low sugar ice pops are also a great way to keep dehydration at bay.
Hydration Tips for Teens and Adults
- Moderate risk for dehydration – Teens and adults have the lowest risk of dehydration as long as they are healthy. However, their activity level and profession can have a big effect on their hydration needs. Athletes, whether participating in a competitive sport, or just playing for fun, are at a higher risk of dehydration because they lose fluids faster. Those who work outside in warm climates, or performing a strenuous job, are also prone to dehydration.
- How much to drink – For teens and adults it is recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day. Furthermore, the CDC recommends those who are very active in hot weather to drink more than eight glasses per day. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink more water!
Other recommended drinks – Other beverages that can also provide hydration are electrolyte-enhanced water, flavored seltzer, and decaf iced tea.
Hydration Tips for Seniors
- High risk for dehydration – Like children, seniors have a harder time staying hydrated, and dehydration can become dangerous very fast. The CDC reports that elderly people that have a medical condition or take medication may change the way their body reacts to heat. They also may not remember to drink water, or could be unable to communicate to their caregivers that they are thirsty.
- How much to drink – A tip recommended by the National Institute on Aging for seniors to remember to drink water is to make it a part of their routine. This could be drinking a glass of water every time you take medication, or every time you use the restroom. Seniors should not spend extended periods of time outside in high temperatures. If their home does not have air-conditioning, seniors can cool off at a senior center, public library, or even indoor shopping mall.
- Other recommended drinks – Alternatives to water are flavored seltzer, electrolyte-enhanced water, decaf iced tea, and nutrition shakes.
Quench Your Thirst!
Do you or your loved ones fall into a high-risk age group for dehydration? How do you keep you and your family hydrated? Have a strategy for staying hydrated and making water easily accessible. It is important to look out for your loved ones while enjoying summer activities! If you stay hydrated, and take frequent breaks after working or playing outside, you’ll have a summer to remember!