The human body depends on water to survive. Our bodies utilize water to maintain its temperature, remove wastes, aid heart health, lubricate joints, and maintain a healthy weight. As you can see, drinking water on a daily basis is crucial, especially for children.
Hydration is particularly important in children because they have water requirements in relation to their body weight that differs from adults. Being thirsty is not a good warning sign of dehydration in children because by the time they feel thirsty they might already be dehydrated. This is another reason why it is important children drink water before they even reach that point of thirst. They should also hydrate before, during and after physical activity, as well as when they are sick.
Hydration: Why It’s So Important
- Improving perceptions of vigor, as well as performance on task requiring attention and alertness and enhance short-term memory.
- Have more vitality.
- Have fewer impaired muscles and injuries.
- Avoid potential respiratory infections.
- Experience less headaches or migraines.
- Guarantee the transportation of nutrients to cells throughout the body.
- Use the bathroom more regularly and experience less constipation.
- Better regulate internal temperature.
The World Health Organization recommends that boys and girls ages 1-4 years consume a liter of liquid per day through water and even food. After all, natural and whole foods such as beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, carrots or celery contain a high water content. It is recommended that girls ages 4 years and up should consume 2.2 liters of liquids, while boys should consume 2.9 liters of liquids per day.
Tips To Increase Water Consumption:
- Begin each day with a glass of water with your breakfast. That way, you start your day already hydrated.
- Do not depend on children to reach their adequate water intake in school. Practice proper hydration habits in the home first.
- Place a gallon of water or water jug on the dinner table so children will be more inclined to have water with their meals instead of selecting other unhealthy options.
- Make sure water is consumed before, during and after all sports and physical activity.
- Facilitate the access of water in school: Free access to water can have positive effects in children’s cognitive performance.
- Keep a source of water nearby in areas where kids are active, whether those areas are outdoors or indoors.
- Always remember that no matter what, water is always the best option. Limit the consumption of unhealthy and sugary drinks.
- Examine your child’s urine. If it is transparent and clear, that means they are well hydrated.
- As the adult, make sure you drink plenty of water yourself; therefore setting a positive example for your child.
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