2020 has seen many changes for some in what back to school means, but regardless of whether your children will be attending on premises or virtual classes, their hydration needs should be a big part of keeping them happy and healthy. Children often have different hydration needs than their parents so we decided to talk about some of the differences and provide a few fun ways to help your kids stay hydrated at home or at school!
Children are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults. This is because in relation to their size, children have a larger proportion of their skin available to lose sweat and be exposed to heat. Additionally, children don’t always recognize that they’re thirsty, and if they’re not encouraged and reminded may forget to drink. Unlike adults, children usually have to ask for a drink when they are thirsty, relying on their parents/caregivers to keep them hydrated.
Water is constantly being lost from our body – when we go to the bathroom, when we breathe, and when we sweat – so if we don’t drink enough we become dehydrated. Water helps our body in many ways as it carries nutrients to cells, helps remove waste products from our major organs, and helps control our body temperature.
Taking a few simple precautions can help keep your child hydrated. Tiredness is one of the first signs of dehydration. This associated tiredness will further impair your child’s attention span, memory and motor skills, all of which will negatively impact upon their academic progress at school/day care. Even mild dehydration can impair many aspects of your child’s brain function. Other signs of dehydration are dry mouth, headaches, muscle cramps and dizziness. Don’t wait until you notice these symptoms; instead be proactive by having your child drink plenty of water.
Here are some creative ideas to help keep your little one hydrated:
- Make hydration fun for younger children by offering water in colorful cups or with silly, curly straws.
- Make infused water to add flavor and variety. Fill a pitcher with water and a few slices of fruit — such as apple, melon, strawberry or orange — and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Experiment with different fruits, as well as vegetables and herbs. Cucumber-infused water has a refreshing taste, as does water infused with fresh mint. A cinnamon stick adds flavor to fruit infusions.
- Send your child to school with an easy-to-carry refillable water bottle. Try a frozen water bottle in the warmer weather. Some schools have restrictions on where children can bring bottled water, or whether they must fill their bottles at school, so check the school’s rules. If those rules are too restrictive, become a child health advocate and push the school to allow your child and others to bring a water bottle with them and drink from it during their classes.
- Be a role model! Make a point of drinking water with your kids.
Our body needs water for good health and survival. Water makes up more than half of our body weight, and each organ in our body needs water to function properly. The amount of water a child should consume varies due to factors including age, gender, the weather and how much physical activity they do. It is advised that kids aged 4-13 aim to drink approximately 6-8 glasses of fluid a day in addition to the water included in the food in their diet.
You also want to make sure that the water that you and your family is consuming is the best quality. A reverse osmosis system will help you provide the highest quality drinking water to your home by removing chlorine/chloramines, reducing contaminants including fluoride, nitrates, nitrites, lead, radium, chromium +6 and arsenic as well as suspended solids and dissolved solids from the water molecules.
If you have any questions about the benefits of reverse osmosis drinking water, or if you’d like a water treatment system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water Consultants, your Greater Philadelphia area dealer of water filtration and water softening systems. We provide service all over Pennsylvania including towns like Kennet Square, Kimberton and King of Prussia, PA.
EPA Water Consultants have been working with homeowners, home builders and businesses for years throughout Pennsylvania to solve multiple water-related problems. Each install is completed by an EPA Water employee as if it was our home – no subcontractors! With our 100% water quality guarantee, EPA Water Consultants will provide the best water available to you and your home or business!