This year, National Youth Sports Week is July 16-22. This week calls everyone involved in youth sports to focus on P.L.A.Y.S. – physical activity, living healthy, access, youth development, and safety. On a hot summer day, like today, there are tons of children practicing and playing sports outside, which means they are at risk for dehydration.
The effects of dehydration can vary based on severity. Early signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Excessive fatigue
- Disinterest in the game
- Significant decline in athletic performance
Remind children to report signs and symptoms of dehydration as soon as possible to ensure a quick recovery. Fluids and rest will usually do the trick, but in extreme cases, emergency care may be needed.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Prevention is key in this scenario. Encourage children to drink lots of fluids before, during, and after they are physically active, especially in hot weather. Staying hydrated is a constant effort, especially for children as they may need reminders to re-hydrate.
Water (plain or flavored) will certainly get the job done and sports drinks may provide extra nutrients that can improve endurance. After physical activity, milk may also be a good choice for rehydration. It may be beneficial to eat a little bit of food to help rehydrate as well. Drinking water with some food, like a granola bar or a sandwich, will help the body absorb more water in a short period of time. Avoid juice and soft drinks as these can lead to further dehydration.
Here’s a simple recipe to make an electrolyte-filled rehydration drink at home!
Simply mix together:
- 2 cups water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp raw honey
You can drink this immediately or store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Remember to stay hydrated!