Children need to drink water instead of soft drinks! Water makes up about 80 percent of the brain and is essential in neurological transmissions. Poor hydration affects mental performance and learning ability by reducing the brain's ability to transmit and receive information. Studies show that once thirst is felt, mental performance including memory, attention and concentration decreases by as much as 10 percent. Increased dehydration will cause even greater loss of mental performance. Even mild dehydration can affect your child's performance and make him or her lethargic and irritable. Left untreated, severe dehydration can increase the risk of other heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Early signs and symptoms of dehydration in children:
*Dry or sticky mouth
The best way to treat dehydration is prevention. Kids should drink the recommended 6-8 glasses spread throughout the day with at least 3-4 of them consumed during traditional school hours. Remember that by the time a child feels thirsty; their mental performance may have deteriorated by 10 percent, so they need to be encouraged to drink often, even if they don't feel like it!