Children need plenty of fluids.
Children need to drink more fluids in relation to body size than adults because their bodies have a higher proportion of water, noted Ulrich Fegeler, spokesman for Germany’s Professional Association of Children’s and Young People’s Physicians.
“Parents should make sure to regularly offer their children something to drink at meals, and also between meals,” Fegeler said.
According to the German Nutrition Society, children aged 1 to 3 years should drink about 820 millilitres (ml) daily; 4—6 years 940 ml; 7—9 years 970 ml; 10—12 years 1,170 ml; 13—14 years 1,330 ml and 15—19 years 1,530 ml.
The recommended amounts increase in hot weather, if the child has a fever or is engaged in strenuous activities.
The body loses particularly large amounts of fluids in cases of diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Severe dehydration can be fatal. Warning signs of dehydration in children are eyes that look sunken into the head, dry skin, little saliva and few or no tears when crying.
“A child’s skin lacking elasticity is an indication of dehydration, and parents should then take the child to a doctor without delay,” Fegeler said. “There’s a simple test: If skin doesn’t spring back immediately when pinched, it has little or no moisture.”