Students going back to school prepare for Valley heat

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Your child's backpack is probably loaded with plenty of necessary supplies like pencils and notebooks for the new school year, but having a water bottle may be the most important thing for them to have.

Children can be especially susceptible to the triple digit temperatures here in the Valley.

Melissa Luxton, a nurse at the Banner Children's Hospital, said people of all ages need to be properly hydrated, but emphasized that children are the most at risk in the heat.

"Kids are unique with hydration because unlike adults, they actually don't sweat as much in this heat," Luxton said. "They're actually more prone to dehydration and heat exhaustion."

A 4- to 5-year-old should drink five 8-ounce glasses of water a day. A 10- to 12-year-old should drink as many as 11 glasses, according to Luxton.

Luxton suggested letting kids pick out their own water bottle and introducing water-rich foods into their diet, like cucumbers, strawberries and cherries.

Kids may not tell parents when they're dehydrated, so it's important to look out for the signs.

"They look tired, they're not playing as much as they usually might notice a little bit of a white tongue," said Luxton.

Experts say boys are more at risk - they sweat more than girls do.