Proper hydration is about more than just drinking water

Jul 22, 2022, 7:23 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 2:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Temperatures are rising here in Utah — and doctors are urging the importance of staying hydrated while outside.

Dr. Cameron Symonds, emergency physician with Spanish Fork Intermountain Hospital, said proper hydration is about more than just drinking water. He said its important to keep your body temperature cool and prehydrate before going outside.

“The most severe cases of dehydration are when people get out and don’t have a way to get out of the heat,” Symonds said.

Dr. Cameron Symonds, emergency physician with Spanish Fork Intermountain Hospital, said proper hydration is more than just drinking water.

The emergency physician said good fluid intake guidelines are:

  • Newborns to 6 months old — Bring extra breast milk or formula when outside
  • Babies 6 to 12 months old — Give them breast milk or formula, plus water up to four to eight ounces a day
  • Kids 1 to 3 years old — Four cups of water a day
  • Kids 4 to 8 years old — Five cups of water a day
  • Kids older than 8 — Eight cups a day

“Kids and toddlers are smaller but also have less surface area — they don’t sweat the same, so they need more water than adults do,” Symonds said.

Tooele mother of two, Hillary Ramone, said to get her kids to drink water, she puts it in fun cups.

“If they have a character on it that they like, they are more likely to drink it because it’s fun. It’s like a toy,” she said.

Ramone said her kids are active and love to be outside, so she said before they go, she plans ahead.

“Know how long you’re going to be outside, bring lots of water, then double it,” she said.

Symonds said a big part of staying hydrated is also taking breaks from the heat — by going into air conditioning or by taking a break in the shade.

Ramone said that is something that her and her kids do.

“We do half the time in the sun, half the time in the shade,” she said.

Symonds said when outside, it’s important to monitor your child’s symptoms, such as:

  • Thirst or dry sticky mouth
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Flushed skin
  • Decreased urine output
  • Muscle cramps, joint pain
  • Premature fatigue or sleepiness
  • Slow reaction time
  • Decreased concentration
  • Increased perception of effort
  • Decreased exercise capacity

If symptoms are concerning, don’t resolve within one hour, or are accompanied by muscle stiffness, high body temperature, fast or shallow breathing, rapid pulse and/or delirium, seek emergency care.

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Proper hydration is about more than just drinking water