With the warm weather and school out for the summer, it is far more likely that children playing in the sun could experience dehydration and heat illness. But in an effort to fight dehydration, some people may overcompensate and make themselves over-hydrated.

  • Dehydration, when the body loses more fluids than it takes in, may be associated with vomiting or diarrhea, as well as heat illness or rigorous sports.

  • Kids are at greater risk for dehydration than adults.

  • People who drink large amounts of fluid very frequently during prolonged exercise (about four hours or more) are at greatest risk for over-hydration, or hyponatremia.

  • Some symptoms of dehydration and hyponatremia overlap, including altered mental state and headache.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches hydration

Because unhealthy hydration levels are often associated with summertime or sports, these conditions are easily preventable. At Children's, doctors believe the keys to proper hydration levels are awareness of the heat index and moderation in all fluid intake.