July 26, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
A dip in the pool seems the perfect cure for summer’s scorching temperatures, but water’s refreshing effects extend far beyond a few laps. Staying hydrated is especially important when kids are running around outdoors.
So just how much water does your child need to maintain a healthy balance? Eight glasses a day may be what your mom said, but really the amount of water varies on each body size and age. A good indicator for adults is listening to your body, and taking a drink when you feel thirsty. Kids need a little more prompting, though, since they’re usually too busy having fun to realize they’re parched. Be sure to pack a refillable bottle with water before heading out to the park, and offer them sips often during playtime.
What about baby? Is she getting all the water she needs to stay properly hydrated? In general, the answer is yes for little ones six months and under, provided they are getting the proper amount of breast milk or formula according to their body weight. Breast milk is composed of nearly 90% water, the other 10% being a combination of vital nutrients.
Remember babies’ bodies are smaller than adults, so this means their nutrition and hydration needs are also different. Many pediatricians recommend avoiding giving water to babies under six months for fear of throwing their electrolyte balance out of order, creating a condition called “water intoxication”. Once baby hits the six-month mark, water can become a regular part of her diet. And don’t forget to keep sipping yourself mom, since kids take their cues from the adults in their life.