AUSTIN (KXAN) — Record breaking heat in Central Texas means the constant need to stay hydrated, especially children.
Dehydration can lead to dangerous problems such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Getting kids to stay hydrated may be more of a challenge, said Dr. Kenneth Adams.
Dr. Adams is the former team physician for the USA Cycling team from 2006-2010, and a dad.
Having years of experience keeping athletes hydrated, Dr. Adams offers parents easy tips to keep kids hydrated this summer.
1. How much water should kids drink a day and how often?
“Four sips of water or ounces is good, so 16 ounces an hour,” said Dr. Adams. He also recommends parents should not wait for kids to say they are thirsty before giving them water because “our thirst sensors generally run behind our actual status is as far as hydration. Once you’re experiencing thirst you’re already a little bit behind the eight ball.”
2. What about sports drinks?
“They’re really high in sugar,” said Dr. Adams. “You don’t really get the benefits that professional athletes notice from replenishing the electrolytes and meeting that extra sugar.” He suggests the average child playing a soccer game stick to water only.
3. Is juice a good option over water?
“With my kids I actually give them diluted apple juice,” said Dr. Adams. He points to a high sugar content in juice and suggests a ratio of 50% juice, 50% water mixed together.
4. Are there foods to help stay hydrated?
“Yes, foods that are salty,” said Dr. Adams. Experts suggest every 30-45 minutes giving kids a small snack with salt and potassium can promote hydration like pretzels, crackers or bananas.