Wet your kid’s whistle with water
Posted 6/13/2016 by Raichal Mathew, MD
Pediatrician, Rainbow Heights Pediatrics
Clinical Instructor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Raichal Mathew, MD
Do your children drink enough water? According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, more than half of U.S. children and adolescents are not adequately hydrated, meaning they probably don’t drink enough water. This could have serious consequences for their health and development.
Why water’s worth it
Kids need to drink water for many reasons. “Water helps maintain healthy circulation and metabolism,” says Raichal Mathew, MD, a University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s pediatrician at Rainbow Heights Pediatrics in Cleveland Heights. “It also helps regulate body temperature and fosters waste removal. Not getting enough water can result in headaches, irritability, poor physical performance and reduced cognitive function. Water also promotes healthy teeth, especially when the water contains fluoride.”
Age, physical activity and outside temperature all impact how much water your child should drink per day. During normal daily activity, kids should drink water when thirsty and eat a balanced diet to stay hydrated.
Make water fun
You can teach your kids to choose water over other beverages by taking steps to make drinking it fun. Try the following tips from Dr. Mathew:
- For younger children, serve water in colorful glasses with fun straws.
- Shop for a new water bottle that is easy for your child to hold. Let your child pick the design.
- Liven up water by adding a slice of citrus fruit or watermelon.
- Add a little fruit juice to enhance the flavor.
- Use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes or freeze fruit in ice cube trays with water.
- If your children like carbonation, give them sparkling mineral water.
- Freeze water in bottles to keep water cold longer on hot days.
If all else fails, let water be the only choice during meals, snacks and at play. And consider teaching your kids by example and drink more water yourself.
Eat your water!
Snacking on fruits and veggies can keep you hydrated all year long. Try these – they have the highest level of water content: