Protect Young Athletes From Dehydration

Photo Credit: Derrik Mealiffe CC-BY-SA 2.0

Many children play sports outdoors during the summer. Dehydration can be a risk when the weather is hot, and the kids are playing. Children who engage in vigorous exercises such as running, baseball, softball, and soccer can become dehydrated quickly. Protective clothing and padding can contribute to dehydration and overheating by holding in heat and preventing the evaporation of sweat. Children who may be especially susceptible to heat-related illness include those who are overweight, rarely exercise, have a condition like diabetes, and children who have recently had a cold or flu. Dehydration can increase the risk of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. Most team coaches are trained to prevent dehydration by providing water and drinks to restore electrolyte balance in young athletes but don’t rely entirely on your child’s coach. There are steps you can and should take to make sure your child remains hydrated during a game.

Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water before and during a game or practice session. Take your own bottled water and sports drinks to the game or practice, and make sure that your child hydrates at each break in the game. Learn the warning signs of dehydration and take action immediately if you think a child may be succumbing to a heat-related illness. Dehydration symptoms include a dry mouth, headache, thirst, cramps, dizziness, and fatigue. Ensure your child knows how to recognize the signs of dehydration and report symptoms to the coach or you immediately. Dehydration can result in confusion and loss of consciousness if left untreated.  

You can easily prevent dehydration by providing children with plenty of water or healthy electrolyte drinks before, during, and after practice and games. Talk with your child’s team coach about dehydration prevention and the warning signs of dehydration. Games and training sessions should be canceled or moved indoors when the temperature and humidity are high.

Resources

Bolero Advanced Hydration

http://www.gobolero.com

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