Keeping our children happy and healthy sure can be hard at times. Their health involves more than helping them be in good physical shape, it means surrounding them by healthy environments, making sure they get enough sleep, eating nutritionally balanced diets and keeping in tune with their emotions.
Let’s talk H2O!
The human body is like a sponge, and to keep it functioning at its peak performance, requires extensive amounts of water. The facts about water and your kiddos might be surprising.
- The brain is the first organ in the body to detect dehydration.
- Your child’s body is made up of 60% water. That water plays a vital role in all their bodily systems.
- As few as 10% of girls and 15% of boys get the recommended amount of water per day (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
- You need to increase your child’s water intake when they are under stress, in hot weather, during exercise, or when recovering from an illness.
- If you divide your child’s body weight by three, that is roughly how many ounces of water they need on an average day. Your child gets water from foods such as yogurt, soups, fruits, and vegetables, but what they get from food is not nearly enough to meet their daily needs. Your pediatrician can provide specific information regarding your child’s water needs.
Decreased attention and information processing occur if your child doesn’t drink enough water. Your child can also experience muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and dry mouth. If your child feels thirsty, they are probably already starting to dehydrate, so you want to encourage them to drink throughout the day instead of waiting until they complain of feeling thirsty.
It’s hard to tell if your child is getting enough water. In addition to the above-stated symptoms, if your child’s urine is dark yellow or has a strong odor, it is a sign that they are not getting enough water.
One of the best ways to encourage your child to drink more water is to drink it yourself!!! Also, keep water handy and accessible. Bring water with you when you leave the house, and offer it to your child every hour. Instead of asking if they want it, simply tell them it’s time for a drink (especially if you have a toddler; IF they are playing they often will ignore their thirsty feeling until they experience dizziness).
Disclaimer: Information provided is not intended to be taken as sole dietary medical advice. Always check with your child’s pediatrician prior to making changes to dietary intake, starting any therapies, physical activities, health supplements, or special diets.
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