Proper Hydration for Children

Infants and young children have higher body water content than adults. A study conducted by Bent J. Friis-Hansen and other pediatricians at the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery, Harvard Medical School, The Children’s Medical Center, determined that the total body water was found to be highest in proportion in premature and newborn babies. The values range from 70 to 83% of their body weight. The authors of the study, which was published on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) online publication, also indicated that during the first 6 months of these infant’s life there was a gradual decrease of body water as percent body weight. From 6 months to 11 years of age, the values were indicated to register between 53 to 63% and with no correlation to age or sex.

Children are likewise less heat tolerant, so they are more likely to get dehydrated, especially when they are physically active and stay in hot climates. Encouraging these young children to drink fluids regularly is crucial as they may not remember to do so on their own. They also have an inefficient thirst mechanism at their age and may take thirst for hunger. Whenever these incidences happen, they may already be dehydrated before they get to drink water to replace the lost fluids in their bodies.

Teaching them the importance of bringing one of the best water bottles for kids is the easiest way you can train them how to stay properly hydrated. They can easily be encouraged to do so if you allow them to be engaged in the process of finding the best water bottles they bring with them. There are so many available brands online and at local stores, so you will need to read through several reviews to make sure that you get the best value for your money. A get place to start your search is at Amazon.com. You may need to check for different materials, sizes, shapes, and other safety features that every seller may indicate on his or her store, however.

Make sure that water (or other beverages with electrolytes when your child is actively engaged in prolonged activity that requires them to use more energy) is available regularly through the day and that your child is encouraged to drink plenty of fluids not only when they are thirsty.

How much fluid is enough?

There are several factors that may influence the amount of fluid that your child may need, including his age, gender, the environmental conditions, and the level of the efforts that they exert when the child is engaged in an activity.  Based on the international guidelines for adequate water intake set by the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA), younger children need smaller drinks (e.g. 120–150 ml per serving) and older children need larger drinks (e.g. 250–300 ml per serving). For a 70-80% of the fluids that your child should consume from drinks (20-30% from food) the EFSA recommends an equivalent to 1.1-13 liters per day for 4-8 years olds 1.3-15 liters per day for 9-13 years old girls and 1.5-1.7 liters per day 9-13 years old boys.

Of all the possible and available drinks that your child may drink water is still considered the best drink for children. Many alternative drinks that children also love contain a lot of sugar. Consumption of these beverages is linked to weight gain as several studies have already indicated. Too much sugar in the food and drinks that your child consume will also lead to tooth decay.

Some drinks are acidic and frequent consumption of these drinks may also damage the child’s tooth enamel. There are also other drinks like tea, coffee and some soft drinks that contain caffeine, a mild stimulant. Thus, children should not be encouraged to drink these beverages.

Other healthy water alternatives include milk, fruit and vegetable juices, as well as some sugar-free drinks. Milk is a good source of protein, B vitamins, iodine, and calcium. For most children drink reduced-fat milk, as well as unsweetened, calcium-fortified dairy alternatives may be encouraged. However, milky drinks that contain sugar such as milkshakes, hot chocolate, and malted drinks should not be given regularly.

Fruit, vegetable juices, and smoothies are also great sources of essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain free sugars and may also be acidic. Consumption of these alternative water sources should also be limited to about a small glass (150ml) a day. Have them during meal times if you must. Dilute the drink with water to reduce its acidity and sugar content.

Keep your child properly hydrated. Make sure that even before your child goes to school, he or she gets enough fluid with breakfast. Proper hydration should continue throughout the day. If you train your child to bring one of the best water bottles for kid, they will soon be encouraged to do it on their own. You can also pack snacks that have a high water content as this will add to the hydration process.

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