Our last article in this week's Summer Safety series, from our School Nurse, Mrs Rismondo, provides useful tips and tricks on how to stay properly hydrated to beat the heat this summer!

When children are outdoors, running around and playing in the heat, there is a risk of dehydration. Most children aren’t going to keep track of how much water they are drinking or fully understand the risks that can come with dehydration, so it is up to us as adults to step in and make sure they are drinking plenty of fluids. Here are four easy tips to help get you started:

1) Time it out to make sure your child is drinking enough. 

Make sure that your child drinks 30 minutes or so before an activity, and about every 20 minutes during an activity when it is hot out. Water is always best, and while sugary drinks should be avoided, if your child is engaging in prolonged outdoor activities such as sports or an outdoor summer camp, sports drinks with electrolytes are ok if water is not available.

2) Make water more fun.

A lot of people, especially children, just don’t like to drink water, mostly because it is 'boring'. This is a big obstacle for many parents, but one that is easier to overcome than it seems. Let kids pick out their own fun drinking cups, or water bottles to drink out of. If they don’t like the flavour of water, infuse it with fresh fruit, lemon, orange or mint to make water taste more 'interesting'. Even some fun ice cubes can help make it less boring!

3) Fruits and vegetables can help kids stay hydrated as well. 
While drinking water is still the best approach to helping children stay hydrated, there are other sources of water for little ones as well. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, broccoli, strawberries and cucumbers all have a high amount of water in them. Make sure that your children are getting around five servings of fruits and veggies a day, to help them stay hydrated and healthy.

4) Make a water drinking reminder system.
Be creative and come up with a reminder system that works for you and your family. Maybe your children put a sticker on a chart every time they drink water, or they have several cups or glasses they need to drink by the end of the day. If you are out and about with your kids, consider using a timer. Having a set system can go a long way in making sure your little ones are staying healthy and hydrated all day long.

Be sure to read our other Summer Safety series articles for useful tips on staying safe during the hot summer months and learn a few new tricks!