Here in the northeast, we are simmering all day, every day. The little ones on my caseload with low muscle tone are getting floppier and crabbier with each week at camp or daycare.
We know why.
The effects of heat on muscles is a big part of the problem. Bring them indoors in the A/C, and they look like flowers that just got watered. But keeping children inside in the summer is a fool’s game. They simply won’t stay there, unless you attach them to a screen. Nobody wants to do that!
There is another thing that helps: water.
Here are 4 reasons that hydration helps kids with low muscle tone look better, feel better, become safer, and have more fun in the summer:
- Hydration plumps up those ligaments so they are stronger and perform better. Tissue that is not well hydrated is stiffer and more prone to micro-damage.
- Muscles contract and relax more effectively when hydrated. It isn’t just the heat that drains all the power from a muscle. Lack of fluid in the tissues and in the blood supply makes it harder to use those muscles well.
- Dehydration increases muscle cramping. A mild cramp isn’t agonizing, but it does make it harder to move smoothly.
- Kids run around outside, contracting muscles as they go. They need good hydration to move the byproducts of muscle contraction out, and refresh the tissues with essential electrolytes.
BONUS: Make drinking water fun by adding colorful straws, ice cubes in fun shapes, and fun water bottles.