Dehydration means that the body lacks the necessary amount of fluid. Infants and small children are more likely to become dehydrated than older children or adults, because they can lose relatively more fluid quickly.
Here are some steps to take to make sure children remain hydrated in the summer months:
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. On hot days, children should drink significantly more water than usual, as they are losing more due to the heat.
- Do not wait until your child is thirsty to give him water. By the time they feel thirsty, they are already becoming dehydrated.
- If your child is resistant to drinking enough water, have other liquids on hand for your child to drink throughout the day.
- Be alert to changes in behavior. A child may act confused or more irritable when they are becoming dehydrated/overheated. Get them into cooler temperatures and drinking more fluids.
- Dress your child in lightweight clothing in the summer months, particularly if she’ll be playing outdoors in warm weather. You may also consider clothes that are well ventilated as they do not trap heat close to the body.
- When there are heat and/or air quality advisories because the weather is dangerously hot, you should avoid taking the children outdoors. Check with your host parents for further guidance on this topic.
Remember to follow these tips for yourself too, so you stay well hydrated.
Photo: Darwin Bell (Flickr)
Is your house filled with treats, and goodies that are tempting you? It is the season, and you are here for a cultural exchange, so try some of the traditional sweets your host family is offering, but it is a good idea to downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
Guidelines for Eating Smart
- Eat breakfast – it’s the best way to start the day.
- Drink water – 4 glasses or more a day, more when it is hot or when you are active.
- Downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
- Snacking – most packaged snacks are high in calories and low in nutrition. Skip the cookies and the chips and snack instead on whole fruits, nuts, popcorn (without the butter), carrots or non-fat yoghurt.
- Fiber – foods rich in fiber are filling and give you energy. These foods include bran cereal, fresh and dried fruit, broccoli, asparagus, peas, corn, cabbage, brussels sprouts, whole grain breads, brown rice and lentils.
- Lean protein – whether or not you eat meat, you need protein. Best sources include skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish and shellfish, egg whites, lowfat milk and cheese, kidney beans, chick peas, tofu and other soy products.
- Variety – try to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. This will help you get many vitamins and other nutrients important to your health.
- Stop eating before you are full – you’ll feel better.
If you want to lose weight, here are some ideas to help you do that:
Crash diets or quick weight-loss schemes are not a good long-term solution.
Have patience in losing a half-pound to one pound per week.
Always drink plenty of water or other fluids.
Never skip meals in an effort to lose weight.
Get up and go, increase your physical activity.
Eat a variety of foods.
Credits: The International Food Information Council Foundation and http://www.bluecrossma.com