Add Water for a Fun 4th of July
Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

American Flags

A patriotic parade in the community, outdoor gatherings with family and friends, time on a lake or a dip in the pool and awesome fireworks: Does that capture some of your plans for the 4th of July? To help keep the fun in your hot weather holiday, here are some quick tips for staying hydrated and making sure that if you are swimming, you are enjoying a Healthy Pool.

Stay Hydrated

  • Increase your fluid (we recommend water) intake above recommended levels during hot weather
  • Drink before you are thirsty (if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated) and avoid alcoholic beverages (these can cause dehydration from increased urine output)
  • Know the warning signs of dehydration (body temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit or severe cramps in the abdomen, arms or legs; dark yellow or odorous urine; dry or sticky mouth; vomiting, diarrhea or sweating; fatigue; thirst; headache or light-headedness; dry, warm skin)

Daily Fluid Intake Recommendations1

If you are… Your daily fluid needs are about… Subtracting the fluid content of foods, your daily fluid needs are about…
Adult male 13 cups 10.5 cups
Adult female 9 cups2 7 cups2
Child, 1-3 years old 4 cups 3 cups
Child, 4-8 years old 5 cups 4 cups
Child, 9-13 years old 8 cups (boys); 7 cups (girls) 6.5 cups (boys); 5.5 cups (girls)
Teenager, 14-18 years old 11 cups (boys); 8 cups (girls) 9 cups (boys); 6.5 cups (girls)

Download and print chart

Cool Down in a Healthy Pool

  • To cool down, enjoy some time in a pool
  • Remember to shower before jumping in (this helps minimize irritating compounds forming in the water when perspiration and other contaminants react with chlorine sanitizer)
  • Don’t swim when sick with diarrhea,
  • Try not to get water in your mouth
  • Don’t pee in the pool (take children on frequent bathroom breaks)
  • Order a free test kit and use to ensure pool chemical levels are in the right range; if they are not, consult the pool manager

A Word about Fireworks:
Play it Safe

If you are planning to use fireworks this July 4th, please pay attention to state and local fireworks laws and all pertinent fire hazard warnings. See this video from The National Council on Fireworks Safety.

Enjoy the Holiday!

Ralph Morris, MD, MPH, is a Physician and Preventive Medicine and Public Health official living in Bemidji, MN.


1Adult fluid intake recommendations from the Mayo Clinic; child/teenager recommendations from the Institute of Medicine
2 Pregnant and nursing mothers require additional fluid

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