Is your child drinking enough water at school?
Many parents fear that their kids do not drink enough water during the school day. To ease your concerns, encourage them to take a bottle of water along to school in case they get thirsty instead of worrying about it.
Children can be very dehydrated easily, especially if they lack the discipline to keep themselves hydrated when they are exercising or having fun. Without hydrating your body, it puts unnecessary strain on the body, as it tries to maintain cellular function.
Are Children More Vulnerable To Dehydration?
A child’s body is sensitive to dehydration, even mild dehydration can cause a range of symptoms. Educators and parents must teach children how to drink water. Water is a healthy habit that many people need encouragement with.
Since a baby’s body consists of about 75 percent water, their bodies are more easily exposed to dehydration. This rate is slowly lessened as children age and eventually results in 55-60% water content in adulthood. Even with the reduction, however, adults retain greater skin surface area when compared to total volume.
Regardless of age, children lose more water than adults due to their greater ratio of body surface area. Additionally, because the thirst sense isn’t always reliable in kids who are already dehydrated, it can be easy for parents to undermine their child’s needs.
Dehydration Symptoms To Look Out For
Here are some symptoms of dehydration for children:
- They experience difficulty in focusing in class
- They have difficulty thinking clearly and rationally
- They start to suffer from headaches consistently
- They are more inclined to be cranky, have temper tantrums, or become weepy.
Result of Dehydration
If children become dehydrated, their physical and mental activity decreases. As dehydration progresses closer towards the danger-zone, more severe symptoms start to emerge.
Symptoms include dry skin and lips, less frequent urination with dark urine, and lack of tears when the child cries.
If your child is moderately dehydrated, try providing them with a rehydration solution. If their dehydration is mild, the simplest thing to do is give them some water.
How much water should your child drink?
The HPB encourages ‘children between three and six years old are recommended to drink three to five glasses of water daily.’ And there are other sources (overseas) that recommend a guideline of 1.2 to 1.9 litres per day for children aged 5 to 15.
While it is difficult to determine exactly how much water children should drink, certain factors influence the amount that they need, such as:
- The weather: Sunny days, when the dangers of heatstroke are at their peak, require increased water intake
- The indoor environment: Heating and air conditioning dry out the air, causing more water loss through the skin and an increased need for hydration
- Your child’s age: Children need to drink more as they grow
- Your child’s stature: Children who are big for their age will need more water than their peers
- If your child loves to engage in physical activities, he or she will need to drink more water than usual
How parents can help their children hydrate?
- Incorporate the habit: Pass on the hydration message by drinking water throughout the day, and encourage your children to follow your example
- Provide a reusable water bottle: Provide bottles of water for easy access. If they’re adorned with a children-friendly design or their favourite colours, your kids will be more inclined to use them
- Explain why drinking water is so important: When you walk with your child in the morning, explain why waiting till they’re thirsty before drinking water is a problem. Explain how dehydration can affect their body and ask them to drink water during the day at school
Choose Purified Water
One great way to encourage your child to drink water is to make water very accessible for them at home. Get a hot and cold water dispenser that allows them to choose their preferred water temperature and it also tends to taste better as well!