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Beat the Heat: The Seriousness of Dehydration

how to determine dehydration

Dehydration can be a serious thing.

As much fun as summer can be, there are some hidden dangers that can affect our children. In addition to thinking about pool and travel safety, it’s important to make sure that your kids are getting enough water.

Dehydration can be a serious thing. It occurs when the body loses more fluid (through sweating, urinating, vomiting, etc.) than what it takes. The human body is composed of nearly 75% water, making hydration vital to health. Scorching temperatures, in combination with outdoor activities, make being aware of signs of dehydration in our kids (and ourselves) a must.

The most obvious sign is thirst. When you are thirsty, you’ve most likely lost 2% of your fluid content. Keep in mind, however, that rehydrating should be done at a moderate pace. If you’re dehydrated, drinking too much water at once can cause vomiting, which can worsen your condition. Fatigue is also a sign that you are in need of fluids. Children who are dehydrated will seem less active than normal, while an adult experiencing mild to moderate dehydration will feel tired.

Another way to tell if dehydration is taking its toll is through the skin. Gently pinch skin until it turns to white and release. If it takes two seconds, or longer for the skin to return to normal color, the body is likely dehydrated. Finally, be wary of headaches and decreased sweating, which are signs for a more serious need for water.

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