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Staying hydrated before, during and after play is key for a healthy child. Help make it a habit. Explore this section to learn the symptoms of dehydration and discover best practices for when and how to properly hydrate.

How to Beat the Heat

Kids take longer to cool down during activity than adults. That's why hydration is important.

It's not just about how your child hydrates during a game — hydrating before and after play is just as key. To properly hydrate, have your child drink 16–24 ounces of water before activity, then have them consume an electrolyte-packed sports drink or water every 15–20 minutes throughout play. A post-activity snack of chocolate milk can help replenish lost nutrients.

Symptoms of dehydration include feeling faint, intense thirst, headaches, nausea, and breathing faster and deeper than normal.

Symptoms of Dehydration and How to Treat Them


Becoming lightheaded or fainting during exercise.


Lay your child down in a shaded area and raise their legs – this helps blood get back to the heart.


Feeling hot, tired, weak or dizzy while sweating profusely.


Remove your child from activity and get them to a shaded, cool area. Lay them on the ground and raise their legs about 12 inches. Replenish lost fluids and use ice-wrapped towels to help them cool down.


Painful and localized cramps, usually visible; muscles feel hard.


Re-hydrate with water and sports drinks. Use light stretching and ice massages on the cramped muscle to relieve cramping.

How to Stay Hydrated

Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Feeling faint
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Intense thirst
  • Not urinating for many hours
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing faster or deeper than normal
  • Skin numbness or tingling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme tiredness

Let your kids know that hydration is important. Help keep your child hydrated  get them in the habit of drinking fluids every 20 minutes during activity and after it ends.

It's best practice to drink 16–24 fluid ounces of water 10–15 minutes before activity. During activity, hydrate with an electrolyte-packed sports drink or water every 15–20 minutes throughout play. After play wraps up, have your child drink chocolate milk to help replenish nutrients lost during exercise.

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