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DRINKING WATER AND CHILDREN

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Children Drinking Water

Just because they have smaller bodies does not mean they need less of it. Water is in fact one of the most important nutrients for children. Often times when we read tips for nutrition for our children, they leave out important information about the intake of healthy fluids.

According to a study published in Archives of Diseases in Childhood, more than 70% of preschool children never drink plain water! What are they drinking? Drinks made with sugar, fruit juice, acids, or sugar substitutes. Yes, these drinks all have water in them, but these drinks also dehydrate your body because your body needs water to process these sugary drinks. Second, another health problem these sugary drinks cause correlates with weight gain. Many experts believe that these sugar filled drinks are a major contributor to childhood obesity. According to the Mayo Clinic, over the past 30 years, the rate of obesity in the United States has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents and more than tripled in children ages 6 to 11. With all this said, how can water benefit our body and especially our children? Our body’s entire anatomy depends on water for their functioning. Water is the only way our body is able to flush out our toxins before they can become poisonous in our body. Therefore, it is important that both adults and children get the proper amount of water that they need.

Water not only keeps children healthy, but also will help them perform better in school. See, dehydration leads to a reduction in both mental and physical performance. These results can be shown in the classroom! Long-term chronic dehydration may cause health problems and illnesses.
Because many schools have inadequate water resources, parents and teachers should regularly encourage children to drink water at home, and even bring their own to school. Children should especially drink water after taking part in sports, such as in gym class. As stated above, even a small degree of dehydration can lead to a reduction of mental and physical performance. So, not having access to that water, or not being hydrated before school, can lead to poor concentration in the classroom, which could mean not as much participation, and even lower test scores.

Contrary to what people may think about size, although children are smaller than adults, they need to consume more water. A boy between the ages of 11 and 14 needs to drink 3,3 liters of water per day, and a girl the same age needs 2.8 liters per day. A recent survey revealed that 65% of school aged children between the ages of five and 14 drink less water than they should.

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