Younger children, especially those who spend more time at school, are at a greater risk of being dehydrated. As they are away from you throughout the day, it will be quite challenging to monitor or check on them if they are drinking enough to stay properly dehydrated. However, if a child brings one of the best water bottles to school, parents may not need to worry much as they the child will soon be drinking on his or her own from the reusable water bottle.
The problem with kids in school today
A nationwide study conducted by researchers from the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, indicated that more than 50% of the young students and teenagers in the United States might not be properly hydrated. As a matter of fact, the 54.5% of 4134 student participants aged 6 to 19 years in the study had urine concentrations that listed them as having below their minimum daily water intake.
What is more alarming is that these students don’t understand the early stages of dehydration. Their thirst mechanisms are not fully functioning at their age. They may be saying or manifesting thirst when they are actually dehydrated. Thirst signal is triggered only when about 1-2% of body mass is lost. By then, the kidneys have already collected much urine. Even if the child is able to drink water once he or she feels thirsty, it will take a while before the water consumed will be distributed to the other parts of the body.
Dehydration, even mild and moderate, can impede their learning as it can cause headaches, exhaustion, lack of concentration, dry skin, and a reduced mental and physical alertness. It can also affect bladder control, as well as the child’s overall health.
Considering all these, it is essential that young children are taught to understand the benefits of staying hydrated at all times, especially when they are in school. They need to be reminded that the body uses up water even without them doing or engaging in intense activities. Water leaves the body when they perspire, go for bathroom breaks, even when they breathe. As the body does not have any reserve water source, they need to replenish whatever amount of fluid is lost.
There are several ways to teach your child to understand all these. Here are some essential ways that will ensure that your child will stay hydrated in school.
Show your child how
Children look up to their parents as role models. They tend to imitate what and how they do things. This means you can easily train them to drink more water wherever they are when you show them that you do it yourself. Teach them the benefits of water as you do, how they can detect dehydration, and how they can stay hydrated even when they are in school.
Buy one of the best water bottles for school for them and encourage them to always bring their own reusable bottle to school. Spend time with them teaching them these one at a time. You’ll create more bonding moments with them while encouraging them to stay hydrated throughout the day. Once they become acquainted with it, they will do it several times a day with you prodding them at first. Repeated performance of the act will encourage them to form a new habit. Once they get used to it, they will do it on their own even when you are not around to remind them.
Encourage your child to consume fluid from foods and other fluid sources
Fruits and vegetables also contain fluids that the body can use. When preparing your child’s lunchbox, make it easy for him or her to get some extra hydration during meal times. Add a few of their favorite fruits and vegetables in your child’s lunchbox.
Allow your child to be responsible for his or her hydration
A child will most likely be encouraged to drink and eat if they like the lunchbox where the food and drinks that they’re going to consume are kept. There are so many high-quality brands available online and in local stores that will provide what your child need from a food and water keeper.
Consider reviews provided by buyers online so you can compare others’ experience with your perception of the products before you buy. Choose a lunchbox or a reusable water bottle after considering the materials from which the products were made, size, shape or mold, design, safety and other features to ensure that you will get the best for your child. It will also help you encourage your child to help you decide which one of the reusable water bottles he should keep. Assist your child as he or she provides his/her choices.
Bring a reusable water bottle filled with water even if your destination is not really that far from home.
You may think that this is not necessary if your child goes to a school near your home. However you may think or feel about this idea, it is still best that you encourage your child to bring a water bottle to school every day. This will encourage him even more to use the water bottle that he brings to school.
Choose water over other drinks
Kids may have a special preference for sugar-coated drinks like iced and soft drinks and other caffeinated drinks. Note, however, that caffeine is diuretic. It contributes to the dehydration process and increases fluid loss. It is also a stimulant. As such, it can depress the symptoms of dehydration. Sweetened drinks, on the other hand, are not healthy water alternatives and should be avoided for hydration except only as a last resort.
Note that hydration should start at home. Your child should always be reminded of the benefits of drinking water and other healthy water options. It’s best that you always keep one of the best water bottles for school so you can easily encourage your child to stay hydrated even when he or she is in school. Teach your child the value of all these and you will soon have a more responsible child who knows the value of water to life.