We all know that drinking clean, fresh water is an important element in helping to keep our body healthy, but many people don’t realise just HOW important it is for us, and especially for our children.
60% of your child’s body composition is water.1
Water is present in every part of the body, every organ, every cell, and notably the brain. During childhood, a crucial period of development and learning, keeping hydrated is essential for your child’s body and brain to function optimally.
Help your children to drink water before, during and after school.
The age-old saying that we need 8 glasses of water a day is not a hard and fast rule, but rather an average. The amount of water needed to keep your child hydrated depends on your child’s gender, age, environment, health and level of physical activity.
What we do know is that we need to replace the water we lose through everyday activities. Making sure your child has access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times is an important step to helping them keep hydrated.
At home, at school and at their activities, keeping hydrated is important for your child to feel good, both physically and mentally.
Help them to drink 8 glasses of water* all day long by scheduling 8 specific occasions that are easy to remember. For example, before leaving for school in the morning, put a small bottle of water in their schoolbag or sports bag. Explain to them the importance of drinking by themselves, even before being thirsty.
The sensation of thirst arises when the body has already lost a lot of water. You can explain to them that by the time they feel thirsty, a lack of hydration is already there. Encourage them to drink small quantities of water regularly throughout the day before they get thirsty.
Tips for keeping your child hydrated
“I find it is hard to convince my daughter to drink water.”
Children often imitate adults. Consider being an example for your daughter. When she sees you drink water, she will want to drink some too. Another tip: put bottles of water in accessible places like on the dining table, in her bedroom or in her schoolbag or sports bag.
“I have no control on what my son drinks at school or when he is not at home.”
Teach him the importance of water and encourage him to drink regularly when you are together. If drinking water all day long becomes a habit, he will keep on doing so when you are not with him.
Another tip: give him a small bottle of water for school.
1 Jackson, Sheila (1985). Anatomy & Physiology for Nurses. Nurses’ Aids Series (9th ed.). London: Bailliere Tindall. ISBN 0-7020-0737-