This can be a particular problem in hot, windy weather and can lead to various heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, which can cause permanent physical impairments or even death, Knapp said.
Thirst serves as an indicator of dehydration. But, by the time people actually feel thirsty, they can already be dehydrated. This is especially true for children and older adults.
"The easiest way to avoid problems is to drink lots of water - as much as six to eight glasses a day," said Knapp, who runs the Kansas Weather Data Library, based with Kansas State University Research and Extension. "Start drinking before you begin such activities as hiking or playing ball and then keep drinking regularly, every 20 minutes or so."
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