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Keeping kids hydrated

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So as per another thread this years summer camp was a cycling expedition. Now while the temperatures in the uk in summer aren't quite what they are your side of the pond it was still pretty warm. of 25-30 C each day and very humid. For the most part the kids are quite good at looking after themselves in the heat. Hats, t-shirts and sun screen come as standard without any need for adult nagging. A problem we found though was making sure the kids drank enough water. They needed constant nagging and one lad needed an adult standing over him to get enough water in him. That's something I would go normally expect even with cubs! The problem seemed to be that cycling created a cooling breeze so they didn't appreciate how much they were sweating. Beyond letting them keep over (not keen) any good ideas for making sure they keep themselves hydrated same as the hats shirts and sunscreen rather than needing constant nagging?

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One trick we use is to "Propose a Toast!". Whenever someone grabs their water bottle they hold it up and yell " I propose a toast to the great weather on this hike!" Better than nagging. May not work as well when cycling however.

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Have them check the color of their urine. We do something like KDD's toast, at morning flags we tell everyone to bring a full litre of water and we see who can drink it the quickest. Only the bigger kids can drink that much and it's uncomfortable for awhile. We also tell them the symptoms and for kids they get nauseous. But it doesn't matter what we say or do because most 11 year olds are much wiser than us old fools. So I don't nag, someone invariably gets sick and spends a day in the medic's tent sipping water and puking, and soon everyone figures out that water is indeed important.

 

Also, make sure they're getting enough salt. I had a kid that was so afraid that he drank too much water and was not getting enough salt. Same symptoms, except he was peeing clear.

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It seems that most kids show up from home already partially dehydrated adding danger to the situation.

Did the Scouts drink when they were stopped and was it a not drinking while riding situation?

 

I bring a bunch of small bottles of Gatorade. (sports drink) Put their name on the bottle with a permanent marker and start off with them finishing off their Gatorade and then a refill with water. After that, they are off and running. That way I make sure that they have their own water bottle for the weekend, as well. We have frequent drink stops planned.

 

At our summer camps we make sure that every station involves water in or on the boys. But, I run with Cubs, so I send them home at night and we can make a game of just about everything. I would be interested in some of the Boy Scout Leaders answers. I would nag if I had to, though.

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It's nice to hear that it's not just our kids who drive hard till they drop! (But then again, mad dogs an Englishmen are out in the noonday sun. ;) ) Prevention by prodding is not enough. Part of prevention is helping youth self-assess. This requires preparation via first-aid training regarding signs and symptoms. Then coaching during the event. E.g. "That headache you're feeling right now, I wonder if it's related to anything we might have talked about in first aid class?" I had an entire crew who was functioning flawlessly for 6 hours of hiking come to a cross-roads and had the dickens of a time over a simple decision (turn left or turn right). After a few minutes of this, I asked them if they could grab a drink and then rethink. Water bottles were empty! I then gave them the directive to navigate to the nearest stream ... Pointing! The whole way I heard complaints (as we were walking downhill into a ravine) "we'll never find water here" "this is so far out of our way" "what a waste of time" . Then we hit the stream and started filtering, and smiles came back on faces. One youth asked my daughter "How did he know this was exactly what we needed?" I think since then she's learned to self-asses quite well. :)

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With Cubs, I have 2 hydration songs that I used at day camp.

 

For pirate theme camps, the Pirate Cub Scout Hydration Song

 

Yo ho yo ho a Cub Scout's life for me

 

We're Cubs, we're the best

and we have the knack,

DRINK UP ME HARDIES YO HO

 

(pause for drinking)

 

We hike and we camp,

And sometimes backpack

DRINK UP ME HARDIES YO HO

 

(pause for drinking)

 

Yo ho yo ho a Cub Scout's life for me

 

 

For knight theme camps, The Dragon Cub Scout Hydration Song.

 

Late last night when we were all in bed,

That old dragon had a cold up in his head.

And when he coughed and sneezed

He winked his eye and said,

There'll be a hot time, for the old Knights tonight.

WATER, WATER, WATER!

 

(PAUSE FOR DRINKING)

 

Next year we have a space theme for day camp. Can't think of one off the top of my head. Closest is STAR WARS CANTINA where every time cantina is mentioned, we pause to drink.

 

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I have had only one person go down on me in the heat. The issue wasn't hydration it was heat. The fella kept drinking right along with everyone else until he went down. The medical tent at the event packed him in ice for about an hour. It had nothing to do with the amount of water. Best to hourly take a break in the shade and drink up a bit. Wet neckers and t-shirts help in the process of keeping the body cool, not just hydrated.

 

Yep, just one more thing to worry about... :)

 

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One trick we use is to "Propose a Toast!". Whenever someone grabs their water bottle they hold it up and yell " I propose a toast to the great weather on this hike!" Better than nagging. May not work as well when cycling however.

 

I quite like that idea. We're an old troop (103 years old!) so have accumulated a few traditions over the years. Another one like that could be quite fun

 

 

 

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Also' date=' make sure they're getting enough salt. I had a kid that was so afraid that he drank too much water and was not getting enough salt. Same symptoms, except he was peeing clear.[/quote']

 

We watch that closely as its easily over looked. We insist on everyone getting a bag of crisps (what you call potatoe chips I think!) at lunch time for sodium and plenty of fruit gets dished out for potassium. (Anything with yellow or orange flesh tends to be particularly good for that)

 

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We watch that closely as its easily over looked. We insist on everyone getting a bag of crisps (what you call potatoe chips I think!) at lunch time for sodium and plenty of fruit gets dished out for potassium. (Anything with yellow or orange flesh tends to be particularly good for that)

 

Powdered Gaterade is what I use. 100+ degree heat, wool Civil War uniform, and hours in the hot sun. Ice in the hat and Gaterade in the canteen kept me on my feet.

 

Stosh

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Powdered Gaterade is what I use. 100+ degree heat' date=' wool Civil War uniform, and hours in the hot sun. Ice in the hat and Gaterade in the canteen kept me on my feet. Stosh[/quote'] What did they do in 1863 before there was a QT every 5 miles?

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What did they do in 1863 before there was a QT every 5 miles?

 

Unfortunately they died by the thousands.

 

Stosh

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So on hot days do you reenactors drop of heat stroke by the thousands for authenticities sake?

 

Not on purpose, but they do anyway. The larger events now have triage tents on site and I have seen at major events out east, up to 12 on-site ambulances shuttling reenactors to the local hospitals. At the 150th First Bull Run event they finally had medically staffed circus sized tent that was blasting AC cooling people down and a second tent with fans and water for those trying to keep from going into the other tent, When one gets thousands of people out in the hot sun in +95 degree heat, it's not just the reenactors going down.

 

At one event, a National Guard medical unit was called out and set up on-site to handle an especially hot day (145th Second Bull Run).

 

The joke amongst reeactors is if you run out of black powder and need to take a hit (no longer going to fight, no ammo left) make sure you find a shady spot to "die". :)

 

Seriously, though, I can see why so many of the men simply couldn't handle the elements and they were by far younger, used to being outdoors, and in better conditioning than most reenactors.

 

Stosh

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