With summer just beginning, this is a good time to think about staying hydrated outdoors. When using pools and hot tubs, we sometimes forget that even though we are surrounded by water, we still need to drink plenty of fluids. Our bodies don't absorb a significant amount of moisture or water from the outside, so we need to hydrate ourselves.

When you are outdoors on a hot summer day for any length of time -- in the water or not -- bring along a cool pitcher of water, juice or another beverage of choice. Alcoholic beverages will dehydrate you faster, so consider this fact when preparing a tray to take outside. Be sure to always use non-glass items for the drinks. A broken glass or bottle on the patio or deck is a hazard for bare feet. It is even more hazardous inside the pool or spa.

Set up a table and chairs outside with drinks and cups so that family members or guests can get something to drink as often as is needed. Remind younger children that it is not okay to drink the pool or spa water. They may be tempted to take a sip instead of getting out to get a drink.

One option is to allow beverages in the pool or hot tub. This may be risky if there is a major drink spill, but responsible teenagers and adults are probably capable of floating in the pool on a raft with cup holders or sitting in the spa with or without a drink caddy. A minor drink splash will be taken care of by the pool and hot tub chemicals and filters, so it should not be a concern.