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Is your child drinking enough water? Here’s a guide.

'Depending on their age, some of them are not able to tell us when they need water or they don't even know when it's time to drink water,' Dr. Amanda Thomas says
water bottle drinking generic WPTV
Posted at 11:10 AM, May 27, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — No surprise about it. This month’s heat has been brutal.

According to WPTV’s First Alert meteorologists, we’ve broken temperature records at least five days in May and we want to keep your kids safe.

Hydration is a big solution to this heat, but a local doctor we spoke with says children are more likely to experience symptoms of dehydration regardless.

There are a few factors that lead to this, but there are solutions to avoid any emergencies related to the heat this summer.

“Kids are particularly at a higher risk for dehydration in general, just because of their size and the amount of sweat that they proportionally lose when they're out and playing,” pediatrician Dr. Amanda Thomas said. “Depending on their developmental level and their age, some of them are not able to tell us when they need water or they don't even know when it's time to drink water. So, they are particularly high at risk for dehydration compared to adults.”

She said some ways you can help your kids say hydrated is by motivating them to decorate their water bottle with stickers. This has a dual purpose— they’ll feel excited to drink water, but it’ll also help them recognize their own water bottle when they’re out.

She also said adding fruits like watermelon, lemon or strawberries to water can change the flavor, while keeping all its hydrating qualities. You can also add those fun flavors to ice, for the same effect. The key to whatever modification you make is: no added sugars.

Thomas said there are guidelines for how much water kids should be drinking, depending on their specific age.

Newborn to six months old: No water. They get the hydration they need from breast milk or formula.

  • 6 months old to 1 year-old: 4-8 oz daily.
  • 1-3 years old: 4 cups of water, or 32 ounces.
  • 4-8 years old: 5 to 6 cups of water, or up to 48 oz.
  • Children 9 and older should be drinking 7 to 8 cups of water daily.

According to the National Library of Medicine, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, decreased oral intake, inability to keep up with ongoing losses, decreased urine output and progressing to lethargy.