5 Easy & Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Hydrated Every Day
As parents or guardians, we have a responsibility to keep our kids happy and healthy. To fulfill that duty, we try to encourage physical activity, prepare nutritious meals, teach proper hand-washing, among other things. However, sometimes we overlook one crucial responsibility: ensuring that our kids are getting enough clean drinking water every day to stay hydrated.
Kids lose water every day through sweating (especially during the scorching summer months), urination, crying, breathing, and so forth. Most of the time, they get water from eating and drinking to replace some of the fluids they lose, but the danger arises when more fluids are leaving the body than entering it. This excessive fluid loss can lead to dehydration.
When dehydration occurs, the body doesn’t have enough fluids and water to function correctly. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to brain damage or even death. The good news is that if you have a hard time convincing your child to drink water, there are a few easy and creative ways for you to help them stay hydrated and develop healthy hydration habits.
How do I know if my child is dehydrated?
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in. It can happen very slowly over time, or it can happen suddenly. Either way, children are more prone to dehydration than older teens and adults, mainly because they have smaller bodies (smaller reserves of water).
Some toddlers become dehydrated because they don’t drink enough water. After all, drinking water is likely the last thing on an active child’s mind, especially when he’s running around outside and having the time of his life.
Now, it can be challenging to track how much water your child is drinking, especially if he attends daycare or camp during the day. On top of that, the warning signs of dehydration aren’t always visible. Hence, you must not wait for your kids to tell you that they’re thirsty before offering them water. By that time, they are already dehydrated.
Instead, look out for these warning signs:
|– Dark yellow or brown urine
– Little to no urine for eight hours
– Low energy levels
– Sunken eyes
– Dry tongue, mouth, or throat
|– Crying with little to no tears
– Excessive sleepiness
– Dizziness or light-headedness
– Dry or cracked lips
– Extreme fussiness
The importance of keeping your kids hydrated with clean drinking water
Children are not consuming enough water. Instead, they are opting for sugar-sweetened beverages, like sodas, sports and energy drinks, fruit-flavored drinks with added sugars, 100% fruit juices, and so on. The problem with sugar-sweetened beverages is that they typically contain loads of sugar.
The excessive sugar content in some beverages makes them less effective for quenching thirst. That is because it takes water to metabolize the sugar in the body. Besides, sugar intake is a significant factor in the rising rates of childhood and adult obesity.
The Natural Nutrient Database states that just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains nearly nine teaspoons of added sugar. In response, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends reducing the amount of added sugars that you consume to “no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance” – and rightly so.
The AHA also recommends that most American women should minimize the amount of sugar they consume to no more than 100 calories per day or about six teaspoons of sugar. Men, on the other hand, should limit theirs to 150 calories per day, or roughly nine teaspoons. Considering that these recommendations are for adults, imagine the impact that those amounts of sugar would have on a child.
Of course, the best substitute for all those unhealthy beverages is clean drinking water. The great thing about water is that it is a zero-calorie quencher, and it offers a whole bunch of health benefits.
Apart from keeping kids hydrated, drinking sufficient amounts of clean water:
|– Aids food digestion and excreting waste
– Helps prevent constipation
– Promotes proper blood circulation
– Helps transport nutrients and oxygen to cells
– Helps regulate body temperature
– Improves cognitive functioning
– Maintains weight
– Improves cognitive function
|– Maintains electrolyte (sodium) balance
– Protects organs and tissues
– Guards against heat exhaustion
– Fights off illness and infectious diseases
– Reduces dental caries
How much clean drinking water does my child need to stay hydrated?
The amount of water your kids need to stay hydrated every day depends primarily on their age, but there are other significant factors, such as sex, the weather, and how active they are. WebMD suggests that as a general rule, toddlers should drink 2 to 4 cups of H2O every day, children ages 4 – 8 years should drink 5 cups, and 8 to 11 cups for those 14 and over.
If your kids are actively involved in sports, or they take part in physical exercise, they’ll need more water. Before and after play or workout, give them about two or three more cups, and during breaks, get them to take six to eight big gulps.
5 Easy and Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy and Hydrated
1. Make drinking water fun!
Kids love bright, colorful stuff. So, let them pick out their own drinking water cups or bottles in their favorite colors and decorated with their favorite characters. Also, buy a set of twisty straws and ice cube trays that make ice in fun shapes. Seeing the water go through the straw can encourage kids to keep drinking.
2. Flavor it up with some sliced fruits
If your kids refuse to drink enough water, add a couple of slices of fruits – such as orange, watermelon, mango, blueberry, peach, lemon, strawberry, etc. – to add a pop of color and flavor. Let the fruit slices sit in a pitcher in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
To add a more diverse touch, experiment with different fruits, as well as vegetables and herbs. These fruit-infused juices can taste very refreshing on a hot summer day. Plus, they offer an excellent way to add fruits and veggies to your child’s diet. That’s a win-win, for sure!
3. Create a reminder system for drinking water
Place a chart on the refrigerator that you or your kids can mark each time they have a serving of water. Or if you’ll be in and out, set a reminder on your phone or leave one inside the house to remind your kids that it’s time to take a drink. A reminder system can help your kids develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day.
4. Talk to your child about the benefits of drinking water
As your kids get older, you won’t be able to follow them everywhere to ensure that they’re getting the right amounts of liquids they need. But you can help them understand the importance of staying hydrated and choosing the correct fluids. Try to relate water consumption to your child’s favorite activities. Does he want to score the winning soccer goal? Does he want to jump higher or run faster? Inform him that proper hydration is key to achieving those goals, and hopefully, he will develop and carry those good hydration habits into his teenage years and adulthood.
5. Take it a step further with filtered water
Always ensure that the water you’re giving your kids is contaminant-free. The last thing you want is for them to drink polluted water and end up in the hospital due to various kinds of water-related illnesses or diseases.
If your drinking water comes from a public source, there’s a good chance that the water contains specific contaminants. Although water providers disinfect the water before it reaches your home, the water may pick up pollutants along the way and bring them into your household, then into you and your kids’ drinking glass.
With that in mind, you need to make sure that your water is free from all contaminants. The first step is to check your water supply for contamination. The best way to do that is to purchase a water testing kit. Springwell offers a few different high-quality water testing kits that you can use to determine the quality of your water quickly. You can also contact your local water providers and request a water quality report for your area, or you can send a water sample from your home to a local laboratory for more accurate testing.
If your water tests positive for contaminants, you’ll need to take action immediately. Even if your water isn’t contaminated, it’s better to put measures in place to prevent any future occurrence.
Springwell offers two affordable, high-end under-sink water filters that are designed to remove all kinds of impurities from your drinking water. Each system eliminates a host of contaminants, including lead, mercury, fluoride, arsenic, aluminum, iron, chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, chlorine byproducts, and more. That means you and your kids can enjoy safe, healthy drinking water all day, every day.
In terms of size and capacity, both filters are small and compact enough to fit perfectly under your kitchen sink and produce up to 75 gallons of fresh, filtered water per day. What’s even more impressive is that both systems use reverse osmosis filtration technology, so you know you’ll be getting the highest quality filtered water possible.
But if you want to treat all the water coming into your house – and not just the water used for drinking – Springwell’s CF1 Whole House Water Filtration System is the way to go! This premium water purification system removes 99.9% of harmful contaminants like chlorine, chlorine, chloramine, haloacetic acids and more. As the name “whole house” suggests, the CF1 filters all the water entering your household from the public water main.
Regardless of which unit you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting the highest quality product that will help you keep your kids hydrated without the risks of waterborne illnesses and diseases, and other water-related ailments.
Clean water is essential to a healthy childhood (and adulthood). It is the best choice to keep your kids hydrated throughout the day. Water contains no calories and can quench your thirst quickly, making it a healthy option for staying hydrated. We know you want to see your kids grow into happy and healthy adults. But for that to happen, you’ve got to make sure that your water is entirely safe to drink. That way, you can model good drinking water habits for your child in a safe manner.