KNOXVILLE (WATE) â€“ Keeping drinks, like an ice cold orange Gatorade, nearby on these sticky, 90 degree days, is not only the key to beating the heat. It also helps you dodge dehydration.
â€œThey come over here and theyâ€™re sweating and theyâ€™re just thirsty,â€ said mother Jennifer Ogle.
This week kids will need a lot of liquids while outside climbing on the playground, racing down the slide and running in the water.
â€œWhen itâ€™s this hot, basically any fluid that doesnâ€™t have caffeine in it is great. Caffeine is a diuretic and itâ€™ll tend to dry you out a little bit more,â€ said East Tennessee Childrenâ€™s Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Ryan Redman.
Redman said dehydration can set in within a matter of hours and kids can become dehydrated much faster than adults.
At Childrenâ€™s Hospital, doctors have already treated several kids this week for dehydration.
â€œIt can be potentially a very serious illness if you let it go too long,â€ said Redman.
After playing for a while at Fort Kid, boys and girls we spoke to said the extreme heat wears them out.
â€œIâ€™m really tired and I really want to get wet,â€ said Elijah. â€œMe too,â€ said Claire.
The splash park is also a common place doctors said people forget to hydrate. Just because youâ€™re in the water, doesnâ€™t mean you should stop drinking water.
What symptoms should parents lookout for when watching their kids? We asked Redman.
â€œYouâ€™re going to notice things like weakness, confusion, theyâ€™ll stop sweating, thatâ€™s usually one of the more concerning signs, and not crying tears when theyâ€™re upset,â€ he said.
If you see those signs, take a break, get water and rest before heading back outside with a cold drink in hand.
Doctors said, although mild cases of dehydration can often be treated at home, if kids start to get very confused or weak, then itâ€™s best to take them to emergency care.