There are lots of jobs both mentally and physically that our and children’s bodies require water to perform adequately. It’s not just a case of being thirsty, there are several health issues being linked to dehydration, including mood swings, headaches, dizziness, bad breath, concentration difficulties, foggy memory, muscle cramps and dry skin. Children can find it hard to keep adequately hydrated due to their smaller bodies and therefore having smaller reserves of water. They also find it difficult to recognise the early stages of dehydration and may not entirely understand how important water is for the regular functioning of their bodies. Children are often a lot more active than adults, and with so many activities and other fun things to be doing, drinking water is not the most pressing thing on their mind. That is why adults need to take the reins!
Mild dehydration can cause a child to get tired, affect their levels of attention which leads to a lack of concentration and an overall reduction in mental capacity. During periods of increased activity or in warmer weather, especially over the summer, this can severely impact the amount of fluid that is available within their bodies.
In case you're wondering whether we're drinking enough water, a complete overview with details about hydration, including drinks that help and drinks that hinder, along with practical examples for you to easily get to grips with the subject can be found here.
How Much Water Should Children Drink?
How much water does your child need to be drinking each day is dependent on a number of factors, including:
- their age
- the weather
- the activity levels for any given day
According to the Natural Hydration Council, children aged between 4-13 need to drink roughly 6-8 glasses per day and as every glass can be a different size, this roughly works out as to be between 1-1.5 liters per day. Infants need smaller amounts such as a 150ml serving roughly 4-6 times per day.
How To Get Your Children to Drink More Water
If you are thinking, "this sounds great, but there is no way I’m going to be able to get my child to drink that much water", worry not! We have crafted a range of clever tactics and tips to help you keep it fun and get more water into your kids!
- Invest in an attractive reusable drinking bottle that carries their favorite logo or cartoon characters
- Infuse the water with fruit to add a splash of color and allow your children to choose what fruits they would like with their water each day
- In younger children, giving them their own bottle to drink out of is a great way to promote independence
- Novelty straws such as lips or mustaches for their water can also add a bit of fun to mealtimes - especially if the adults join in at the dinner table
- Create a reward chart and measure how much water your child is drinking each day, fill in the chart each night and once a certain level is attained, they get a special treat