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Active Kids Need to Stay Hydrated to Have Fun This Spring Sports Season!; New Survey Reveals Parents Need More Information about Keeping Kids Hydrated; Expert Hydration Recommendations Provide Guide.

ATLANTA -- Spring is here and with it the official end of cabin fever! It's time to dig out the softball bats and soccer balls, sign up for car pool and kick the spring sports season into high gear. Whether your kid is a budding athlete or just anxious to get outside and burn some excess energy, a new survey released today shows that some parents and kids may overlook a critical health concern: proper hydration.

Proper hydration for kids is important year-round, but as it gets hotter and kids get more active, lack of fluid can become a major threat. In the survey, sponsored by Spring! by Dannon Natural Spring Water, parents named hydration or getting enough water as one of their top three health concerns for their kids during the warm months ahead, but results reveal that more than half of parents with kids ages 6-13 do not know how much water their children drink each day. Of those parents who are monitoring water intake, most reported that their kids drink an average of only three glasses a day or less, with some reporting that their kids drink none at all.

"Kids are at particular risk of heat exhaustion at the start of the spring sports season when they may not be as fit or acclimated to the early hot weather," said Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ph.D., professor & co-director of Exercise Physiology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. " Although kids sweat less than adults, they can still lose up to half a liter an hour. They can also be easily distracted and caught up in the heat of a game, and may begin practice not adequately hydrated. These factors all can contribute to the child not replenishing the fluids that they're losing, which increases the risk of them becoming dehydrated ."

"At one end of the spectrum, early or mild dehydration can result in sluggishness and poor performance," Dr. Millard-Stafford added. "But at the other, much more serious end, it can lead to more serious health consequences."

Keeping Kids Hydrated

The good news is that dehydration is preventable and keeping kids hydrated is not difficult. Water from a variety of food and beverage sources keeps us hydrated. Products for kid-sized hands and with cool graphics, like Spring! by Dannon Natural Spring Water, can help make it easy to keep kids hydrated.

"Kids are participating more in their beverage decisions, and they're choosing water more than ever before," said Deb Roberts, senior brand manager, Spring! by Dannon. "Spring! By Dannon is natural spring water that tastes good and comes in kid-sized bottles with cool graphics. So now kids have a water to choose that's just right for them. Spring! by Dannon helps parents to keep their kids drinking throughout the day, too, with convenient 8.5 oz. or 11.2 oz. bottles that they can throw into their car or bag on the way out the door."

How Much Water Do Kids Need?

Adults have been told for years how much water they need a day, yet there isn't the same understanding for kids. All beverages can help hydrate us, which has been confirmed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences (IOM/NAS). 2 While water requirements for each person vary depending on an individual's metabolism, environmental conditions and sweat rate, the Institute released daily intake recommendations for water in 2004 (shown below) to help parents and children understand how to stay hydrated. However, these recommendations are based on mild temperatures (such as an air-conditioned room) and a sedentary lifestyle. "If your child is active, playing or competing outside in hot and humid conditions or at a high altitude, he or she may need more than recommended," according to Dr. Millard-Stafford.

"The best way to know how much your child needs to drink to replenish their sweat lost during activity is to weigh them before and after a game or practice. The weight loss is water, so for every pound lost your child should drink about 16 ounces or 1 pint," added Dr. Millard Stafford.

Although fluid needs will change depending on how acclimatized and physically fit the child is, the activity level, and weather conditions, parents can use weight lost as a rough guide.

If weigh-ins are difficult, you can use up to a half liter (about two 8 oz. servings) of water loss an hour as a rough guide, according to Dr. Millard-Stafford.
Adequate Intake (AI) specified in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
for water:

 Age Total Daily AI* Assumptions **
4 to 8 years Approx. 5 servings of water from all
 1.7 beverages, including drinking water.
9 to 13 years 2.1 (girls) to Approx. 7 (girls) to 8 (boys) servings
 2.4 (boys) of water from all beverages, including
 drinking water.

* all AI values are liters per day from water and food

** serving size based on one 8.5 fl. oz. glass of water

Source: (Food and Nutrition Board 2004)

While parents should work to keep kids properly hydrated at all times, knowing the signs of dehydration in children, and knowing what to do, is very important for parents and other caregivers. Signs of dehydration include thirst, weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, feeling dizzy and light headed, decreased urine levels and/or urine that has a strong odor or is darker than normal, tiredness, sluggishness, irritability and headaches. All, some or none of these signs may be present in a dehydrated child, so the best way to avoid dehydration is to monitor water or fluid intake and modify activity or reduce the length of activity according to weather conditions.

If you suspect your child is becoming dehydrated, get them to a cool or shady area and give them cool water or fluids to sip. If your child does not improve, seek medical attention immediately, advises Dr. Millard- Stafford.

For more hydration facts and tips on how to keep your kids properly hydrated, visit

About Spring! by Dannon

Spring! by Dannon Natural Spring Water originates from protected springs and is bottled with minimal processing by CCDA Waters. It is available with or without fluoride in single serve, kid-sized 8.5 fl oz bottles with sports bottle tops and sold at grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide. For more information about Spring! by Dannon Natural Spring Water, please visit our website at

(C) 2006 The Coca-Cola Company. SPRING!, the Spring Coil, and the Splash designs are trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company. DANNON is a registered trademark of The DANNON Company, Inc., used under license by CCDA Waters, L.L.C.

1 e.NATION survey of parents with kids ages 6-13, February 2006

2 The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences (IOM/NAS). Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulfate. 2004.

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Date:May 2, 2006
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