summer dehydrationDehydration tends to sneak up on you, especially during the summer. The hotter weather and higher humidity in the summer can make it hard to stay hydrated, so while your family is enjoying time outside in the summer sun, you need to keep hydration top-of-mind. This summer, AFC Urgent Care wants you to stay safe in the heat by using these tips to stay hydrated.

Why Is It Important to Stay Hydrated?

Proper hydration makes a lot of bodily functions run smoothly, from circulation to digestion. The body needs to have enough water available to maintain your temperature, remove waste and use the energy from the food you consume. Dehydration can take a terrible toll on your health because it makes it harder for your body to keep up with the demands you place on it. Everything from joint lubrication to the consistency of your blood requires adequate hydration in order to stay in balance!

Dehydration can become dangerous very quickly. One of the biggest contributing factors for heat injuries like heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke is dehydration. Once your body can no longer control its temperature, your core temperature can begin to creep dangerously high. If your body’s core temperature becomes too high and is not treated quickly, permanent damage to your brain and other organs can occur. Someone who is in the early stages of a heat injury will experience cramping, and if this is not treated, their symptoms can progress to fatigue, dizziness and low blood pressure. Dehydration can also harm your kidneys and other organs by forcing them to work harder.

How Do You Know If You’re Dehydrated?

It might surprise you to know that thirst is low on the list of symptoms of dehydration. According to many doctors, if you feel thirsty, you have probably already been dehydrated for a while. Other symptoms include fatigue, headaches, dark urine, constipation and infrequent urination. If you find that your children aren’t producing tears when they cry or aren’t sweating while exercising, those are two very big signs that they are extremely dehydrated and in danger of a heat injury.

To help prevent dehydration, make sure that you always have something to drink available. Water and other sugar-free and caffeine-free drinks are ideal. To make water more appealing for kids—and adults!—use an infuser with sliced fruit, to add taste to water without adding a lot of calories. And remind people with you to drink frequently, even if they are not thirsty, and especially if they are physically active.

Dehydration can end your summer fun if you’re not careful, so be sure you get enough to drink! Let AFC Urgent Care be your first stop in the event of a heat injury or dehydration!