The human body relies primarily on body fluids to sustain life. That is the reason why about two-thirds of our bodies is made up of water. Without enough water in the body, it cannot function as it should. Body water is used to help regulating your body’s temperature, digest food and excrete waste, deliver needed nutrients and oxygen to the major parts of the body like the brain and the lungs. However, your body constantly loses water throughout the day. Body water is released when you sweat, urinate, defecate, breathe, and even if you do nothing. Water in the body also condenses and leaves it as nature requires it. Lost body fluids can easily be replaced if your child has the best water bottle for kids.
Since the body does not have any reserve for fluids that are constantly lost through the bodily processes mentioned earlier, it is crucial that one tops up the water content in the body by drinking regularly. If not, dehydration will set in. You might not even know it and think that you are only thirsty when in fact you are actually already dehydrated.
It is only when a great amount of the stored body fluid has been lost that you may feel or think that you are thirsty. One disturbing fact is that younger children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults.
Kids, as we know it, are quite active throughout the day. They also do not have a fully functioning thirst mechanisms that make them even more at risk to dehydration. They can also find so many reasons not to drink. A water source that is not far enough, tasty enough, or cold enough will not encourage them to drink as much as they should. As a result, you will find them voluntarily dehydrating themselves thinking that they can just chug a more when they are too thirsty that they don’t have time to think about the taste, the color or even the source of the water replacement.
Children cannot easily recognize the early signs of dehydration, so it is up to you to keep on reminding them that they need to be properly hydrated to be at their best at any time. They need to understand that without adequate water to fuel the body’s system, they won’t be able to think properly. Concentration will be a lot difficult, and they will find things that they usually do a lot exhausting.
It’s a terrible thing to discover that it’s too late. Note that thirst is not a reliable indicator for one’s need to drink. By the time that your child may think or feel that he or she is thirsty, about 1-3% of his or her body weight have already been lost. That means the child have already used up that amount of body water. And you can easily tell if your child is hydrated.
How will you know if your child is hydrated?
The easiest way to tell if your child is dehydrated is if you noticed that he or she requires frequent bathroom breaks. These symptoms are also commonly manifested by young children who are at the brink of dehydration:
- Difficulty concentrating
- An increased need for water
- Dry lips
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
Though mild and moderate dehydration may be harmless, you will notice that it will affect your child’s cognitive functioning. It happens because the blood that carries the needed oxygen and nutrients to the brain and the lungs gets thickened as less water in the plasma is available to be used. It will also be difficult for the child to breathe easily and will find doing things that he or she usually finds easy, quite taxing.
The easiest solution to this is to encourage your child to drink water more often and not just when he or she already feels thirsty.
How much water will be enough to provide proper hydration for your kid?
There are so many factors that may affect the amount of water that your child will need. It will depend primarily on the level of activity that the child is engaging in, his or her age, overall health, the temperature within the location, his or her clothing, and so on.
To understand the hydration levels for each age level, it is best to consider a guideline provided by authorities in this aspect of health. One of the organizations that provide such information is the British Nutrition Foundation. In an article written by H. Gibson-Moore of the BNF and published on the Nutrition Bulletin of the Wiley Online Library, indicated that children from the following age groups need to drink water or fluids as much as indicated below to be considered properly hydrated:
- Boys and girls ages 2 to 3 years needs to drink about 0.9–1.0 liters per day;
- Boys and girls ages 4 to 8 years to drink about 1.1–1.3 liters per day;
- Girls ages 9 to 13 years to drink about 1.3–1.5 liters per day;
- Boys ages 9 to 13 years to drink about 1.5–1.7 liters per day;
- Girls ages 14 to 18 years to drink about 1.4–1.6 liters per day; and
- Boys ages 14 to 18 years to drink about 1.8–2.0 liters per day.
To ensure that your child stays hydrated, you may want to consider these tips:
- Encourage them to back their own water bottle to bring to school or wherever they may have to go.
- Remind them of the importance of regular hydration and how they can get proper hydration even when they are engaging in intense activities.
- Be a role model for them. Allowing them to see you get yourself properly hydrated every time and wherever you are, will also encourage your child to do the same.
- Allow them to choose from the many brands that say that they offer the best water bottle for kids. They will drink more from a bottle that they like. Guide them as they choose. Find the best water bottle that offer the best value for your money. Consider the size, shape, make, safety, and other features that will give yours the advantage over other water bottles.
- Make your child’s drink flavorful. Squeeze some lemon juice or other fruit juices in your child’s water bottle. This will make the drink tastier, and your kid will love it.
This is an easy solution that you can always start at home. Make your child love the thought of drinking water. Once it becomes a habit, it will be difficult to break.