7 Care to avoid dehydration of children in the summer
Summer, the hottest season of the year, has its peak temperature in school holidays here in Brazil. In this period the days are also long and we can enjoy more of the beaches, parks, sun, sea, nature and heat. For this reason, children are more exposed to dehydration, mainly due to their level of outdoor activities.
In order for children to enjoy the climate with a lot of energy, some food care is necessary to prevent illness. Excessive heat and high sun exposure lead to increased loss of fluid and salt from sweat, especially in children.
Symptoms of dehydration in children
For children to enjoy the climate with a lot of energy, some dietary precautions are needed to prevent illness. Excessive heat and high sun exposure promote greater loss of fluid and salt minerals from sweat, especially in children.
- Mouth, throat and dry lips
- Loss of appetite
- Gastric discomfort
- Deepening of the baby's belly
- Loss of consciousness and even convulsions in more severe conditions
Tips to avoid children's dehydration
Here are a few tips to avoid dehydration:
- Stimulate your intake of fluids throughout the day: water, flavored water, homemade fruit popsicle, light teas, natural fruit juices, coconut water
- The supply of liquids at meal times should be controlled, as they induce an early satiation. The ideal is to offer water at will at meal intervals so that the child does not feel the need to ingest liquids at the time of eating
- Avoid sodas and dark teas (mate, black, etc), since they are diuretics, that is, they stimulate the loss of body fluid
- Thirst is already a sign of dehydration, so do not expect them to order something to drink. Always offer
- Stimulate daily consumption of fruits, vegetables and vegetables
- Prioritize the supply of fruits that have high water content: watermelon, pineapple, lemon, orange, melon, strawberry, pear
- Control the use of salt in the preparations and consumption of high-sodium processed foods (canned, beef broth tablets and the like, instant noodles, fast foods, sausages and salted products), and avoid high-sugar foods (sweets, industrialized, etc.)
How much water should I offer?
Stimulating adequate hydration is essential to keep the body functioning properly and prevent dehydration in children. The recommendation for fluid intake (considering liquids and foods) varies by age range:
- 0 to 6 months: 700 mL (including breast milk and formula)
- 7 to 12 months: 800 mL
- 1 to 3 years: 1300 mL (being 900 mL in the form of juices, other beverages and water)
- 4 to 8 years: 1700 mL (1200 mL as drinks and water)
- Boys 9 to 13 years: 2400 mL (being 1800 mL as drinks and water)
- Girls 9 to 13 years: 2100 mL (being 1600 mL as drinks and water)
- Boys from 14 to 18 years old : 3300 mL (being 2600 mL as drinks and water)
- Girls from 14 to 18 years: 2300 mL (being 1800 mL as drinks and water).
However, it is important to note that this value may suffer a change in function of other factors such as: climatic conditions, loss of body fluids, physical activity pattern, body surface, among others.
Other summer feeding care
Another point i important aspect that deserves attention in the feeding of children in the summer is the risk of food poisoning. The high temperatures accelerate the deterioration of food, favoring the multiplication of microorganisms (for example: Salmonella), which can cause several diseases, whose most frequent symptoms accelerate the dehydration process: diarrhea and vomiting.When eating outside the home (bars, restaurants, kiosks and snack bars):
Choose well-known places or offer cooked food of known provenance
- Look at the organization and cleanliness of the place, , short nails, hair protection), food temperature (hot foods should be very hot and cold foods should be ice cold) and avoid ice
- Choose drinks that can be opened by you
- Avoid very perishable foods: egg, mayonnaise, meats / raw fish, fresh cheeses, sausages, pâté, stuffed pies.
- When preparing homemade snacks we also need some
Prepare the items as close as possible to the time of consumption
- Avoid using the perishable foods mentioned above
- Prefirm: fresh or dried fruits, cheese s pasteurized, 100% whole-grain industrialized juices, oilseeds, whole grain products (biscuits, cereal bars, etc.)
- Store correctly: ice-filled, capped and sun-protected thermal containers
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