By: Krystle Crossman
With the weather getting warmer as we step into summer it is important to remember that water consumption is necessary. A recent study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health shows that kids are far more dehydrated than they should be which can be very dangerous to their health. Erica Kenney, one of the lead authors on the study, stated that one in four children stated that they drank no water at all throughout a normal day. They also found that 54.5% of the students who participated in the study had urine concentrations that showed that they were not drinking the recommended daily amount of water.
There was a big gap in the amount of water that boys and girls drank. Boys become dehydrated more quickly than girls and should be drinking more water through the day. The study showed that 76% of the male participants were more likely to show signs of dehydration than the female participants. There is nothing life-threatening about slight dehydration however the impact that it could have on the child’s cognitive well-being is great. Children may also experience side effects such as dry mouth and nausea because they need more water.
So what is the recommended amount of water that children need per day? This differs depending on age:
1-3 years old: At least four cups per day
4-8 years old: At least five cups per day
9 years old and up: At least eight cups per day for boys and seven cups for girls
One of the biggest problems is that when kids are in school all day some may not have access to clean drinking water. Water fountains are a hotbed for germs and the water is often warm and metallic tasting. Many schools have vending machines with bottled water in them but they cost money which many students do not have access too. These kids end up going through the day without water because they don’t have access to it. Experts state that schools need to do a better job to make sure every child has enough water through the day. Parents also need to step in during the day and if they notice that their child is not drinking enough water they should be reminding them.