MARILYN HAGERTY: Sunshine’s message: Don’t wait, rehydrateDehydration goes on winter, spring, summer, fall
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
When you lose more fluid than your body takes in, you are dealing with dehydration. And it can happen in winter as well as in the hot summer months.
I learned this talking to Carma Hanson who runs the Safe Kids program for Altru Health System here in Grand Forks. She talks about kids sweating under heavy winter jackets. She talked about the wind. And she said, “In any temperature you need to drink a lot of water.”
There’s a need for rehydration after caffeine consumption. There’s a need for rehydration after any diuretic drinks.
Her advice is to limit caffeine and be aware of the importance to hydrate every 20 minutes during activities and also when you finish.
Sounds like a lot. You wonder why the focus on hydration.
It all goes back to the death of Shannon “Sunshine” Larson. She was the daughter of Van and Dee Larson of Grand Forks who died of dehydration five years ago while hiking in Arizona.
And in her memory, her family has set up the Sunshine Memorial Foundation.
That’s the foundation that will benefit from the Sunshine Fest coming up here Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena. It will include a 5k fun run outdoors and a 3k walk indoors. There will be a health and wellness fair, music, activities and prizes.
Sunshine Fest is one step along the path of fundraising for a Sunshine Memorial Home proposed for Grand Forks — a place where family members of patients hospitalized here can stay for a moderate rate.
Carma Hanson was happy to become a member of the Sunshine Memorial board, she said, because of her interest in dehydration. With Bill Palmiscino of the Grand Forks Park District, she has worked on the “Don’t wait, hydrate” program. In it she talks to parents and athletes.
And she said the message goes far beyond. “It’s important for construction workers and working people who are losing fluids.”
“If you get to the point where you are thirsty, you may already be ready dehydrated,” she said. “There are signs including dizziness, cramps and headache.”
If the urine looks like apple juice, that’s a sign of dehydration. “It should be fairly pale yellow or straw color,” she said. “It’s important to take a water bottle or Gatorade when going out for activities.”
The Larson family said the awareness of hydration after the death of Sunshine goes way beyond them. Don Larson, brother of Shannon, is president of the Sunshine Memorial Board.
In the background are friends, family and a wide circle of people who support the Sunshine Home.
Board members include Bruce Gjovig, Robinee Damle, Alice Hoffert, Dan Fabian, Randy Hatzerbuhler, Kenton McGregor with Donovan Larson and Katie Langlie as staff members.
Van Larson, father of Shannon, is working behind the scenes to see a dream become a reality. For him, dreams can come true. After his mother, the late Carol Larson, slipped on the ice, he went to work back in 1984.
He came up with a non-slip shoe sole and started the Sure Foot Corp. The business grew and expanded its product line. Today it has about 30 employees and markets products worldwide.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 772-1055.