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Keeping Kids Hydrated In the Myrtle Beach Sun

It's easy to forget about some things when you're busy having fun at the beach. Work? A distant memory. Chores? What chores? Stress? Not here.

Unfortunately, it's also easy to forget about proper hydration when all you want to do is have fun in the Myrtle Beach sun. This is especially true of children.

Particularly when they are out of their normal routines, it's easy for kids to forget to drink enough water to keep them healthy and happy. So here's our guide to vacation hydration!

Know the signs
You know your kids better than anyone, so if they start acting cranky or lethargic -- often signs of mild dehydration -- you'll be the first to know. Try giving them some water and a resting period and see if things improve.

But be on the lookout for more serious signs of dehydration. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these can include:

  - Dry tongue and dry lips
  - No tears when crying
  - Fewer than six wet diapers per day for infants and no wet diapers for eight hours in toddlers
  - Sunken eyes
  - Dry and wrinkled skin
  - Cool and blotchy hands and feet

If you notice these symptoms, encourage immediate rest and give them water or unsweetened fluids right away, says the clinic.

An ounce of prevention
Of course, the best way to treat dehydration is to prevent it in the first place. We know it can get hectic during vacation, when all the kids want to do is play. Here are some tips for making sure they drink enough fluids.

  - Start with breakfast. Encourage a big glass of juice or water with the meal to get them started with the right hydration.
  - Offer another glass of water before you hit the beach for the day.
  - Be sure you bring enough water with you for the length of your excursion, especially if concessions are unavailable where you will be spending the day.
  - Make drinking water more fun or enjoyable for your kids. If they like a particular water bottle, use it. If a crazy straw gets them slurping down water, toss one in the beach bag. If they like it ice cold, use an insulated cooler bag to keep it that way, or freeze half-full water bottles the night before and top off with fresh water before you leave.
  - Encourage drinking water once per hour, or more if it's really hot out. Make a game of it for younger kids -- use found seashells on a "track" scratched into the sand with a stick, and race the seashells around the track, moving them one hand width for every gulp of water the kids drink.
  - Most of all, listen to your kids. If they say they're thirsty, have water at the ready.

And don't forget to have fun! 

(posted 3/25/14)