Children do not drink enough water and the implications of this cannot be ignored. According to the Mori Survey commissioned by Water UK, the average person is only drinking 3.9 glasses of water per day, which is half of the recommended amount.
Children establish their drinking patterns from a very early age so it is vital that we, as parents, implement good practises. Good hydration not only benefits children’s health at a young age but puts them on the right path for a healthy future. Children have a high percentage of water in their bodies and lose water faster than the average adult which means they need to drink proportionally more to avoid dehydration.
Dr Paul Stillman from the Expert Group says: “The effects of dehydration, marginal or excessive, cannot be ignored. Symptoms can develop even in marginal dehydration, such as headaches, digestive problems, losses in concentration, cognitive impairment and lethargy. To stay fit, healthy and performing to our full capacity, we need to replace the fluids that we lose.” Children spend most of their waking hours at school, resulting in the Department for Education promoting that the Schools Governing Body must ensure that there is easy access at all times to free, fresh drinking water for pupils. Children that are well hydrated during the day will maximise their learning potential.
Former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Ann Keen advised that “good hydration helps to reduce tiredness, irritability, and increases concentration. It contributes to a more settled and productive learning environment’. An extremely worrying fact is that most children do not even realise that they are dehydrated as they have become used to being sluggish, lethargic and simply feeling below their best. Children can easily forget to drink during the day so encouragement and educating is of utmost importance. Simple techniques can be used to encourage this. Water Cooler Company AquAid recognised the need for a healthy solution to dehydration and are now the top supplier of Water Coolers to Schools. Drinking water for both health and refreshments needs to be part of a child’s day to day routine; this is not a new concept, merely one that requires constant reminding. Making water the ‘drink of choice’ in your family can also be aided by the Water Cooler in your home. Children find getting their own water from the Water Dispenser is not only fun, but a sign of independence too.
“Children are our heritage and our future. If we neglect to supply them with adequate high quality water, we run the risk of negating the importance of liquid intake. Our children’s health has to be our number one priority.” Lord Sebastian Coe