How to Promote Good Hydration during Children's Sporting Events
Kids are a constant source of energy, running and playing hard in spite of weather, circumstance, and temperature. In heat levels that would slow down most adults, children will happily gear up and play sports in the blazing sunlight. However, this boundless energy comes at a cost no child considers on their own. Playing, especially in the heat, can take up an impressive amount of water and it is all too easy for enthusiastic children to forget about staying hydrated to compensate for the amount of time they spend running around in the hot sunshine. This is especially true for children who play sports, dedicating hours of their afternoons and weekends to practicing and competing on open fields. One of the best things team parents can do together is to promote hydration during sporting gatherings and events.
How We Lose Water
The human body is made up of nearly 60% water and processes it in a lot of ways. We need to consume enough water each day to keep our blood pressure up, our internal fluids balanced, and to run the digestive system cleanly. Almost any physical activity uses up more water on maintaining your internal functions and being out in the heat only increases your need. Sweat occurs when your internal temperature gets too hot. Your body then releases mostly clear water that, when evaporated or blown away by the wind, will take the heat out of your body with it. This is why we sweat both working out and when the external temperature is very warm.
Parents of children who play sports are always waiting with a water bottle and looking for the early signs of dehydration. However, it can often be hard to get your kids to drink enough to fully replenish their lost fluids in part because water in a sun-baked plastic bottle is not fun to drink. To counter this, many parents have stepped it up a notch with complete rehydration stations stocked with coolers of iced water, lemonade, and electrolyte-bearing sports drinks. This provides their children with both a healthy, cooling selection of beverages and a central location to gather and rest.
Shady Misting Tents
Replenishing water isn't the only way to help your kids stay hydrated. The heat from the sun adds to the heat generated by exercise resulting in more water lost to sweat. By providing them a shady place to cool down, your kids can recover more quickly from overheating and reduce the amount they sweat during the day. If you're worried about heat under the tent, the best solution available is a set of misting nozzles attached to a simple garden hose. Filling the air with water droplets will clear out the heat and can then act as an extra layer of artificial sweat, settling on the skin and evaporating to help lower overheated body temperatures.
The Perfect Combination
To create the optimal rehydration station, try setting up a misting tent over your usual cooler table. This combines the delights of shade, cooling mist, and very slightly sugary beverages that will have your kids running in from across the field to grab another drink and quickly cool off in the gently chilled breeze. When it comes to your kids, it's worth the time to find the right solution that will keep them both happy and hydrated throughout their busy sports schedule. With iced drinks and misting tents, you can bring down their temperatures and get them rehydrated quickly so they can return to play. Don't be surprised if the tent also becomes a hotspot for other sports parents. Grownups need to stay cool and hydrated, too.