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How much water should your kids drink during a hot day outside?

Jul 29, 2016

This summer heat wave has no end in sight, but no one wants to be stuck inside in the air conditioning the entire time. When your kids need to blow off some steam, it can be easy for them to overdo it with the heat and humidity. Most of us know how to keep ourselves hydrated in high temperatures, but what about your little ones who sometimes need some extra guidance? Making sure they get enough water can ensure an easier day outside for everyone during the hot summer months.

Children come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, so there is no cut and dry answer to how much water is needed per day. Factors such as outside temperature, humidity, weight, gender, the child’s activity level, their blood sugar levels, energy level, and overall standing health should all be taken into consideration during an extended amount of time spent outside. Because children are so active and constantly growing, the needed amount of water can adjust and can sometimes seem like the requirement is a huge amount. It should be noted that these recommended amounts of water include not only beverages, but also foods ingested throughout the day, and should be increased if it is an especially hot day.

Every child should drink at least the standard 6-8 cups of water per day, as well as the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, no matter the weather. If your child or teen is active throughout the day, the goal is to drink between a half-cup to two cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes of activity. Exposure is a contributing factor to dehydration – taking precautions like regular reapplication of sunscreen and wearing protective gear, such as sun hats and lightweight protective clothing will help to prevent overexposure and heat exhaustion.

Attached below is an idea of the amount of water your kids should be hitting per day, depending on age and gender. Hot weather is no reason to miss out on anything this summer!

Age RangeGenderTotal Water (Cups/Day)
4 to 8 yearsGirls and Boys5
9 to 13 yearsGirls7
14 to 18 yearsGirls8

* Amounts of water ranges from child to child. ** Please consult your pediatrician with any questions or concerns regarding extensive amounts of time spent in the heat.