Your child might not be drinking enough water in school.
This could just be true as a nationwide study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health indicates that more than 50% of the children and teenagers in the US are not properly hydrated. As a matter of fact, 54.5% of the total 4134 participants in the study, which were aged 6 to 19 years, were found to have urine concentrations that qualified them to be having below the minimum daily water intake level. However, if you train them to bring one of the best water bottles for school, you can be assured that they will have access to clean water or their favorite beverage any time they have to.
Don’t wait until your child says, he or she is thirsty
Insufficient water in children will affect their cognitive functions as well as their physical health. However, a child’s thirst mechanisms is immature. That means their thirst mechanisms are not yet fully functional at their age. As such, they may have already lost much of their body fluid and are, therefore, already hydrated by the time they would sense that they are thirsty.
There are different severity when one is dehydrated. It could be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body fluid is lost and is estimated by the loss in bodyweight. A child is mildly dehydrated when the loss in the body weight is about 5 to 6 percent. A loss of 7 to 10 percent is considered moderate dehydration. Severe dehydration or a loss of over 10 percent of body weight is a life-threatening condition and will require immediate medical care.
Even if mild dehydration isn’t life-threatening, a child who is not properly hydrated will have an impaired cognitive function. He or she will experience headaches and even nausea in severe cases. Younger children, on the other hand, will be very fussy, rarely urinate, have dry mouth, and will have no tears when the child is crying.
Factors influencing children’s hydration
A child’s hydration attitude and practice can be affected by several factors, including the intensity of the activity that the child is engaging in, the environmental conditions, the availability of fluid, the characteristics (flavor, temperature) of the beverage available, as well as the physiological features of the child.
It is best that they are trained to drink regularly to ensure that any fluid that they lose will be replaced right away.
Hydration is essential for children in school
As already mentioned children do not have properly functioning drinking mechanisms, that is why they need to know the basics of hydration. They are also actively engaging in sports and other school-related activities that may cause them to release more body fluids. If they are constantly disregarding their need to replace lost fluids or are hydrating poorly, their school performance, bladder control, and, even, their overall health will be affected.
Factors affecting children’s consumption of water.
Other factors affecting a child’s hydration level has to do with their personal preferences.
- Children prefer sugar-sweetened beverages than water.
A study shows that children consume seven times as much soft drink as water. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks are one of the reasons why there are more obese and overweight children in school. Children prefer these alternative liquid replacement sources, which are not actually healthy.
Even with the government’s effort to encourage young students to consume water and other healthier alternatives, many still remain insufficiently hydrated in school.
- The water in the school fountains or dispensers is not cold. Children prefer cold drinks. Water stations, however, do not provide cold, clean water that the children can drink any time they would want to. In addition to this, the water fountains and dispensers are poorly maintained.
- It can be too taxing or exhausting, as well as time-consuming, to find a drinking fountain or water dispenser. Children are quite active most of the time. They will need much liquid replacement, but there might be times when the water fountain or water dispensers are placed in an area within the school compound that is at a distance from where the children are. Instead of going to the fountain to drink, they’d rather drink whatever beverage alternatives that they may see near them, which, most of the times, are not really healthy.
Training your child to drink adequate water when in school
Once the child understands the important roles that water plays in his body functioning, as well as in his performance in school, sooner or later he or she will accept the fact that he/she will need to drink up as much as his/her body needs so he/she will feel well and perform better throughout the day while in school.
Buy your child one of the best water bottles for school
One way to encourage your child to drink up when he/she is in school is to provide him with his own water bottle. There are so many brands and makes that will provide your specific requirements. Once they are trained to bring their own water bottles, it will be easier for them to stay hydrated, especially if you store beverages that they really like (of course, I’m referring to the healthy options here).
There are water bottles that can keep beverages, either hot or cold, for 12 to 24 hours (sometimes, even longer). These bottles are available in different materials (PBA-free plastic, stainless steel, or glass). You can choose from a wide-mouthed bottle, push-pull cap soft bottle, filter bottle, collapsible bottles, and more.
It’s better to have these reusable bottles than have your kids buy bottled water in school. You’ll save more in the long run and you’ll also contribute to others’ effort for a greener earth. Remind your children of the importance of water and allow them to take responsibility for the options that they take. Once they are fully aware of these and you provide them with an easy to access water source, you’ll see that they will prefer drinking from their own reusable drinking bottles soon enough.