Sick Kids You can prevent dehydration in your kids by making sure they drink plenty of fluids when they’re sick, playing sports, or are physically active in general. For sick children, you may have to treat some of their other symptoms just so they can eat or drink. For example, if your child is congested or has a sore throat that is making it difficult to swallow, you can give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen medicine drops to help with the pain. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help control the fever. If your child is vomiting, sweating excessively, or has diarrhea— you need to make sure they continue to drink fluids throughout the day. They should consume more fluids than they lose. Cold drinks or popsicles can also help replenish your child while soothing a sore throat. Sports drinks with electrolytes are good for kids to get their electrolytes back in balance, but you also want to ensure they don’t consume too much electrolytes. Active Kids Teach your kids not to wait until they’re thirsty to drink. Thirst is not a good early sign of dehydration. By the time a child feels thirsty, he or she may already be dehydrated. Your kids should start drinking before they get thirsty and continue drinking even after thirst is quenched. Especially for kids who are active in sports and the outdoors, make sure they are drinking fluids particularly in hot weather. Before their practice or game begins, have them drink some fluids (but not too much, as that may cause side cramping). Encourage them to drink about every 20 minutes throughout their practice or game. Their coach should provide them with intermittent water breaks until the activity ends. And if you live in hot weather cities like Tyler and Longview, we recommend scheduling early morning practices when temperatures are milder. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids, according to the Mayo Clinic. But sports drinks may provide more benefits if your kids are active for more than 60 minutes. Sports drinks can help maintain their body’s electrolyte balance and provide more energy because they contain carbohydrates.