With the hot days of summer come summer sports -- baseball, tennis, football practice -- both in the neighborhood and at camp. Before you send the kids out to practice -- or just for a long day of play in the sun -- learn to protect your child against the dangers of dehydration and heat illness. WebMD turned to Albert C. Hergenroeder, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of the sports medicine clinic at Texas Children's Hospital, for answers to parents' common questions.
cough might sound like a disease from another era. But the illness, also called pertussis, is alive and well in the U.S.
Known as a childhood illness, whooping cough is actually most common in adolescents and adults. They pass whooping cough to other family members without realizing that their cold-like symptoms are really pertussis.
For siblings and spouses, catching pertussis might mean a severecough and missed work days. But when the recipient is an unvaccinated infant, whooping...
The same things that put you at risk for dehydration: prolonged exposure to high temperatures, direct sun, and high humidity, without sufficient rest and fluids. The difference is that a child's body surface area makes up a much greater proportion of his overall weight than an adult's, which means children face a much greater risk of dehydration and heat-related illness.
Early signs of dehydration include fatigue, thirst, dry lips and tongue, lack of energy, and feeling overheated. But if kids wait to drink until they feel thirsty, they're already dehydrated. Thirst doesn't really kick in until a child has lost 2% of his or her body weight as sweat.
Untreated dehydration can lead to three worse types of heat illness:
Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke require immediate care. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that, when untreated, can be deadly. Any child with heat stroke should be rushed to the nearest hospital.
3. What can I do to prevent dehydration in my child?
Make sure they drink cool water early and often. Send your child out to practice or play fully hydrated. Then, during play, make sure your child takes regular breaks to drink fluid, even if your child isn't thirsty. A good size drink for a child, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is 5 ounces of cold tap water for a child weighing 88 pounds, and nine ounces for a teen weighing 132 pounds. One ounce is about two kid-size gulps.