Drinking Water and Children
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.
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. This
can be show results 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.
Children are at a much greater risk of dehydration,
as the process can begin much more rapidly in them. Once the
is dehydrated, the internal temperature
rises and the body, particularly the brain, overheats. Since children are
still growing, there is all the more need 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.
Another reason why children should drink up is
that 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.
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