Is there any connection between school and dehydration among children? The answer is yes, to some extent, because it has been noticed in many cases that children’s water intake during their stay in schools is less than normal
Dr Nisma Haris -
Keep the Covid-19 outbreak aside for a while when the children are not going to school on a daily basis. But is there any connection between school and dehydration among children? The answer is yes, to some extent, because it has been noticed in many cases that children’s water intake during their stay in schools is less than normal.
They should have been drinking more water during their stay in schools because it is during the day when people consume more water than night hours. Children spend a major part of their day in schools, in fact, the most active hours of the day. They tend to ignore water during study hours and do not want to waste any single moment of their break time on anything other than playing with their peers.
We can easily excuse them for being children, at the same time we have to be very careful to ensure that their water intake is proper. We should ensure that they carry water in a moderate size bottle and on their coming back home from school we should ask whether they have finished the water or not. This is the time we can inculcate a habit of proper water intake.
Water plays important role in the proper functioning of our body. From maintaining the body’s equilibrium to carrying out the vital functions, flushing out the toxins from the body, it has many roles.
For the school kids, drinking water during school hours is even more essential. As guardians, we are more concerned about their dietary habits than the habit of drinking water frequently during the day. We leave no stone unturned to pack healthy meals for our children to school. But somewhere we miss cultivating in our children about the importance of drinking water at regular intervals, especially at school.
Children control their thirst unknowingly as sometimes drinking water is not allowed during the classes or at other times.
According to Elizabeth Sherwin, MD (Children’s National Hospital, USA), less water consumption leads to dehydration which in turn causes health issues like headache, fatigue, dizziness, urinary tract infections, muscle cramps, etc. Their body’s water requirements are more compared to adults because of the higher body surface area to mass ratio and are hence more vulnerable to dehydration.
Climatic conditions also play a determining role in the body’s water requirements. In hot, dry and humid conditions, kids must be encouraged to consume water at frequent intervals.
Active participation in sports or other physical activities also increases the water needs of the body, particularly in children. Many scientific pieces of evidence throw light on the role of drinking water and its benefits on improving cognitive performance among children.
Drinking less water leads to
dehydration and as a result,
it causes unclear thinking and
confusion in children. Water also helps to limit excess weight gain in children and adolescents. Moreover, water is the chief constituent of the body cells. Hence, it is imperative to keep the cells hydrated so that physical health can be sustained.
Water is also the prime component of blood which transports various nutrients within the body tissues, thus aiding in absorption as well as removing the harmful substances from the body. Drinking less than adequate water predisposes kids to constipation and other digestive issues. Thus, in this way, water plays a key role in preserving gut health in children. Water protects the organs and tissues as well as provides cushioning to the joints.
Children are dependent on adults to remind them to drinking water regularly. It is incumbent upon us as parents, teachers, or guardians to educate them regarding the benefits of drinking water. School rules must be compliant enough to allow children to drink water during classes if they feel thirsty. They should never be encouraged to hold their thirst. Various schools have taken the initiative of water bell; that is, a bell is rung on the premises several times to remind them to consume water. Schools must provide access and provision to safe drinking water for children so that their water requirements are not compromised during school hours.
In short, water is that unmatched element of nature that has infinite beneficial effects, and as adults, we should join hands and ensure our kids drink enough water to keep their intrinsic and extrinsic health in equilibrium.