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DEVELOPMENTAL HYDRATION HYDRATION


TOPIC There are critical issues regarding hydration among children in sports.


First, children are more vulnerable to dehydration than adults as a function of the following:


Children have a greater surface area- to-mass ratio than adults.


Children lack adequately functioning sweat glands, reducing their capacity to sweat and lose heat.


Second, children who train and compete over long periods of time, such as tournaments or camps, on intensely hot days are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. To manage risks, the following is suggested:


Provide longer periods of rest between substitutions and games.


Attend to heat acclimatization, fluid and energy intake, proper clothing, air temperature and humidity.


Encourage drinking between bouts of exercise and during games. Drink enough fluid so that urine color is pale throughout the day.


Thirst is not a reliable indicator of dehydration. Experts recommend that young athletes drink fluids every 15-20 minutes during physical activity.


Athletes need to drink enough fluid to replace lost fluids within 1-2 hours after exercise. At least one hour of rest is necessary to allow for enough time for proper re-hydration and snacking.


Water should be the primary source of hydration throughout the day and before exercise. Sports drinks are only recommended for children and adolescents who have participated in vigorous exercise for longer than 60 minutes.


17 USLacrosse.org/HealthAndSafety


DEVELOPMENTAL HYDRATION


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