Do you know if your children are drinking enough water? Do you know how much they should be drinking each day? Water for kids is just as important as it is for you.
Toddler-age children should drink at least four 8-ounce servings of water each day. This is in addition to the recommended 16 ounces of milk they should be drinking every day.
Three hydration tips
Here are three tips to help ensure kids are getting enough water:
1. Make it an hourly habit.
Because toddlers tend to be very active, especially in warmer weather, kids can lose a lot of fluid quickly, which makes it even more important to provide water frequently. Try offering your child water every hour, regardless of activity level, and keep a full sippy cup nearby. You can also ask your child to drink a little when you get yourself a drink of water.
2. Just eat it.
Believe it or not, but fruits, vegetables and yogurt have high water content and consumption can help boost kids’ daily water intake. If your child does not like water, try offering it chilled or putting a splash of juice in it. Remember that toddlers should only have about 4 ounces of juice each day to avoid excess sugar in their diets.
3. Know the signs.
Toddlers can become dehydrated without realizing it, and they may not know to ask for water until they are very thirsty, tired or feeling dizzy. In addition to these symptoms, always watch for other early signs of dehydration such as dry lips, dark yellow urine and infrequent bathroom trips. If your child is not potty-trained, going more than six hours without a wet diaper could be a sign of dehydration. If these symptoms appear, get your child indoors to a cool area and provide water immediately. If your child is still showing signs of dehydration after an hour, call your doctor for advice.
Proper hydration is essential to maintaining body temperature, moving food and other nutrients through the digestive system, and keeping your child at a healthy weight. Make sure to keep them—and yourself—hydrated!
This post has been updated. It was originally published on May 28, 2014.