Hydration Guidelines for Children







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Hydration Guidelines for Children

May 30, 2017


Kids don’t always recognize  the early stages of thirst, which can make them particularly vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, especially during times that can drive up their body fluid losses, for example when they are playing sport or during warm weather.


Signs of Dehydration


1. Dry, cracked lips

2. Decrease in urine output

3. urine is dark colored

4. Drowsiness and head aches 

5. Cold or Dry Skin

6. Low energy or weak

7. No tears when crying



What should kids drink?


1. Water

2. Milk

3. 100% Fruit Juice (with no added sugar)  



How much should kids be drinking?


The amount a child needs to drink as it can vary greatly, due to factors including age, gender, the weather and how much physical activity they do.


 Age (years)  Amount Per Day   Fluid ounces per day
1-3  4 to 5 cups of water  35
 5-8  5 to 6 cups of water  46
 9-13  7 to 9 cups  of water  65(boy) 57 (girl)
 13+ 8 to 10 cups of water  72


(consult a pediatrician for children less than a year old)



Top tips for keeping kids healthily hydrated


1.Children should hydrate natural drinks that are unsweetened and free from additives. 

2.Starting in the morning with their breakfast, with water, milk, fruit juice/ vegetable juices. 

3.Children taking part in sports or exposed to warm weather need to replenish the lost fluids by drinking more water.

4. Children may perform better in school when hydrated




Tips for Getting Kids to Drink More fluids


1. Infuse water with natural flavors ( berries, apples, citrus, cucumber & melon)

2. Offer Drink in fun containers and straws

3. Mix small amount of fruit juice with water for added flavor 



Water facts for kids


1. Water makes up about 60% of the body weight of older children and adults. 

2. Water is constantly being lost from our body (when we go to the toilet, when we breathe, when we sweat) so if we don’t drink enough we become dehydrated. 

3. Water helps our body in many ways: 

      -It carries nutrients to cells;

      -It helps to remove waste products from our major organs;

      -It helps us to control our body temperature.

4. Water is found in all drinks and also in food. For example water is in orange juice and milk; it is also in fruits and vegetables. It is even in cheese! 

5. People can survive only a few days without drinking water.


For more information download the Hydration for Children fact sheet here



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