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Jul 15, 2008

Keep a Child Hydrated During Sporting Events

Adolescents and children sweat more than we realize, and as a result they lose a significant amount of body fluid, which contains sodium and potassium. This fluid needs to be replaced to prevent dehydration or more serious heat stroke.

Ensure that the adolescent or child drinks 15 to 20 oz of water or sports drink (Water is preferred) 30 minutes to an hour before an event.
Ensure adequate hydration. During the event, a child or adolescent needs to drink 4-6 oz every 20 minutes - this is around 4 to 5 gulps. This should be water to replace sodium and potassium lost during the activity.
Get the child or adolescent to drink an additional 10-15 oz of Gatorade after the event.

* Dehydration can cause serious problems and a lot of us adults don't stop to think how it can affect our children.
* Gatorade is a high endurance drink that is great to use during high humidity.
* Don't forget the water!

* During the athletic event, watch out for signs of dehydration:
o muscle cramping
o lightheadedness or dizziness
o rapid heartrate
* Soda, "bug juice", and other sugary drinks dehydrate you faster, like Gatorade.
* Drinking too much water over too short a period of time can lead to electrolyte and sodium imbalances, which can be fatal (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperhydration.