Teenagers and younger children are not drinking enough water and that lack of hydration can have an effect on their physical and mental health. This usually is not from a day of dehydration but an accumulative effect as it happens frequently.
“Even though for most of these kids this is not an immediate, dramatic health threat, this is an issue that could really be reducing quality of life and well-being for many, many children and youth,” said Erica Kenney, (Harvard School of Public Health Postdoctoral Research).
What is Dehydration?
Everyone’s body is made up of approximately two thirds water. If you constantly go below the levels needed for normal body function, when your body loses more water then what your body is taking in this is dehydration.
“Lack of water ingestion is a significant issue for America’s children, with multiple causes,” said Dr. Ron Marino, associate chair of pediatrics at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.
You do not have to feel thirsty to be dehydrated. When you are feeling thirsty you more than likely are already starting to get dehydrated. You should drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Other symptoms include:
• Lightheaded & feeling dizzy
• Mouth is dry
• Dark Urine
• Decreased urine
• Fingertips are tingling
• Muscle cramps
• Fever & chills
• Food cravings, especially for sweets
• Dry skin
• Along with other symptoms
A few serious Physical effects dehydration can have on your body are:
• Increased Demands on your kidney (Kidney Failure)
• Heat Stroke
• Tiredness all the time
The long term effects of water can bring on Mental Disorders such as:
• Anxiety disorders
• Mood disorders
• Eating disorder
• Psychotic disorders
How much water you need depends on your physical weight, your level of physical activity that day and your environmental conditions. Remember, everyone is different so be careful because you can drink too much water. For most people if your urine is slightly yellow or clear you are hydrated. Below we give you a few Websites and Apps that can possibly help you.
CamelBak has a unique calculator to show how much water you should take in if you are going on a hike, running, biking or skiing. It asks what color your urine is along with other details.
Slender Kitchen has it broken down on how to calculate how much water you should drink a day for both health and weight loss benefits.
Waterlogged App for Iphone helps you keep track of how much water you need to take and splits it up and reminds you.
The Water Your Body App does the same thing as waterlogged but for an android based phone.
Remember that the above water charts and app links are for informational purposes and are not meant for you to take as a doctor’s advice. If you have any concerns about dehydration in your child schedule an appointment today to sit down with Dr. Connery.