Hydration Is Key For Summer Fun by Dr. Maria T. Sifontes

Summer is fast approaching and with it, the lazy days that promise rest, peace and…lots of noise at home from the happy children on summer break.

Make sure your family is ready to go outdoors! That means hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lots of water to keep everyone hydrated. When going to a sporting event, consider having a cooler in the car full of water bottles, some frozen, others just cold.

If you can, schedule activities in the morning and the evening hours – and don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen every two hours.

It is easier to prevent dehydration than to treat it. Experts recommend at least one water bottle 1-2 hours before going outdoors. Then, offer 3-5 ounces of water every 20 minutes while outside – more for teens.

Not all liquids are created equal. Sugary drinks are not better than water and can increase the risk of dehydration. Watery fruits, such as watermelon and oranges, are good alternatives. While not optimal, sports drinks with low sugar can provide fluid and electrolytes.

Watch out for symptoms of dehydration, like dry mouth, lethargy, and diminished urination. Mild dehydration can be treated at home with an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte.

Heat stroke happens with extreme dehydration. It can appear slowly or be sudden and very dangerous. Call 911 or go to the emergency department immediately if your child becomes confused, agitated, or is vomiting.

I appreciate the strong community and beautiful nature in Vail. As a pediatrician of many years, it is wonderful to see so many children engaging physical activity in the Vail neighborhoods. Let’s help them continue to enjoy the outdoors safely through the summer.

Maria T. Sifontes, M.D., is a pediatrician at the TMCOne Rita Road location in Vail. Call (520) 324-4760 for more information.


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