CENTENNIAL, Colo. – As Colorado turns up the heat this week, summer camps and training programs are in full swing. Many kids and teens are spending time outside in the heat of the day, increasing their risk for dehydration and heat illness.
According to an article from Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Dehydration causes decreased athletic and mental performance, but more seriously, it can lead to heat illness: Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and life-threatening heat stroke.”
Children’s Hospital Colorado said athletes at a greater risk for dehydration include those wearing heat-retaining protective gear such as football and lacrosse pads and helmets, athletes not acclimated to exercising in the heat, those with a medical condition (recent illness or chronic condition such as Type I Diabetes) or athletes participating in double practices (inability to rehydrate fully from one practice to the other).
Children's Hospital Colorado recommends athletes start hydrating at least four hours before exercising, every 15-30 minutes during practice and re-hydrating with water and electrolytes after practice. Children's also recommends packing the following snacks for your kids attending camps:
-Salty snacks (pretzels and popcorn provide electrolytes and they make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink more fluids)
-Snacks with high water content (fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe and cucumber. Drinkable yogurt and low-fat chocolate milk are also hydrating)
Click here to learn more about the symptoms and treatments of dehydration and heat illness.