Kids Playing Outside in the Heat
The 13-year olds on the X-Girls softball team train hard during the summer months. Even as they work up a sweat, Coach Guy Mosteller makes sure they drink plenty of fluids.
"We emphasize plenty of water, stay hydrated even when you're not on the field," he said.
With temperatures in the triple digits recently, kids playing outside can be prone to heat related illnesses such as stroke or exhaustion. However, pediatric doctor, Edward Clark said this is preventable if kids drink liquids.
"That's the name of the game, is staying hydrated.” Dr. Clark said. “Now you can still get into trouble, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke even though you are trying to stay hydrated you still need to be aware of how hot it is trying not to get overheated."
A way to prevent that is playing outside during certain hours.
"Go out playing early, come inside during some of those hot hours and then go back out later on in the evening," Dr. Clark said.
Mosteller follows this advice when scheduling practice for his team.
"We'll schedule it for an early Saturday morning or late Sunday evening,” he said. “We don't do it in the middle of the day."
But designated times and making sure kids drink lots of fluids may not be enough if they don't excrete it.
"If they're not going to the bathroom on a regular basis, at least one to two hours, you know they need to be filling the tank up with water."
One way the girls fill up their tanks and replenish their salts is with a special drink.
"A lot of times they fill up little medicine cups with pickle juice, freeze them,” Mosteller said. “I know it doesn't help quench their thirst but it keeps them hydrated, keeps them from cramping as well. I guess from all the sodium in the pickle juice."
When temperatures are hot, Dr. Clark said it doesn't matter what the fluid is as long as it's something to replenish the body.
"You want to make sure you're taking in some type of water."
Dr. Clark said if kids are playing sports water and sports drinks are good to replenish fluids and electrolytes. However, kids shouldn’t drink too much due to the sugar they contain. He also said kids playing outside should drink more than eight glasses of water a day when the temperatures are warm.