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Summer means enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. It also means making sure you and your loved ones stay hydrated in the heat. Whether you’re spending the day at an amusement park, playing an outdoor sport or splashing in the pool, it’s important to take in enough fluid to replace what’s lost through your skin as you sweat.
Get Your Daily Recommended Water Intake
During your outdoor activities this summer, aim to drink one ounce of water for every ten pounds of body weight. And it’s best to drink before, during and after more strenuous exercises such as running, playing sports or swimming. You should also make it a point to choose fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks — such as watermelon, celery and pineapple — that contain lots of water.
When you’re spending time in the sun and heat, you should also avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol since they dehydrate your body.
Keep Water Handy
Be sure to have a plan before you head out with your family. Pack water bottles to bring with you, and consider keeping them by the door where they’re easy for everyone to grab. Encourage frequent water breaks (even for your pets) and talk about its importance with your children.
Planning your family’s activities before and after the sun’s peak hours (between 10 am and 2 pm), can go a long way in making sure your fun activities stay fun.
Recognize the Signs of Dehydration
Mild dehydration can cause irritability, headache and fatigue, all of which can ruin your summer adventures. However, severe dehydration can be a medical emergency. Learning to recognize the signs of severe dehydration can be lifesaving. They are:
- Dark urine
- Dry lips and mouth
- Slow reaction time
If you have signs of severe dehydration or notice someone else with signs, get help immediately. For signs of mild dehydration, find some shade or an indoor location to cool off and sip some water slowly. Take it easy and continue to drink water until you feel better.
Have a Plan Before You Head Out
Just as you apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn, you can prevent dehydration by taking steps before you head outside. If you want to learn more about how to prevent dehydration and keep your family healthy, our physicians are here to help.