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Drinking Water and Children

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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.

 

 

  • Dehydration leads to a reduction in both mental and physical performance. ALong-term chronic dehydration may cause health problems and illnesses.
  • Dehydration can lead to poor concentration in the classroom, which could mean not as much participation, and even lower test scores.
  • 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.
  • Children are at a much greater risk of dehydration, as the process can begin much more rapidly in them.
  • Once the body is dehydrated, the internal temperature rises and the body, particularly the brain, overheats. Since children are still growing, It is important to keep the body hydrated so that it functions properly.
  • Children should always have unlimited access to safe drinking water. A loss of 2% of body fluids causes a 20% reduction in performance in both physical and mental activities. Dehydration in excess of 3% may lead to heat stroke, a condition to which children are much more prone than adults are.
  • Children should drink up because their thirst mechanisms are less developed than adults and tend to appear after dehydration has already set in. Children should therefore be encouraged to drink water even if they are not thirsty.
  • Headaches, irritability and sleepiness are often signs of dehydration. Of course, children are bombarded with ads of cool soft drinks, but parents, please note that water is a far better choice.