September 10th, 2018
This isn’t a question that anyone before the latter half of the 20th century really had to ask. But in 21st century America, this is both a legitimate and often worrying question. Just how much water are your children drinking on a regular basis? Are they actually getting enough?
Water Is Life
Everybody needs water in order to function; this is a medical fact of life. But kids in particular actually require more water than adults. Why is that? Part of the reason is that children are still maturing and thus require more internal resources for growth, compared to mature adults who no longer have the same requirement of keeping enough “fuel” available not just to get through the day, but also have enough to get taller and stronger. As a result, kids have a higher percentage of their body made up of water compared to an adult, who average about 60%.
But why is water so important? There are a number of different reasons:
Lubrication: Water is the basic component of lubricating liquids in our body such as the synovial fluids between bones that allow for smooth, precise movement.
Temperature: Nothing carries heat, or dissipates it like water, which is why water is an essential part of body temperature regulation.
Health: Water is also a prime component in distributing nutrients throughout the body. Not enough water can mean inefficiencies in nutrient delivery.
Detoxification: Water also carries away waste, which is why it is the chief component in urine and fecal waste as well.
Skin Condition: Dry skin is itchy, unhealthy and uncomfortable skin, but skin properly moistened by water looks and feels good.
Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which, if unaddressed, can lead to illness and eventually death. This is why it’s important to make sure that children are getting the water they need on a daily basis.
The First World Danger
The biggest issue for children in the first world is that there are so many alternatives to plain old water that it’s easy to forget about getting enough. After all, soft drinks, juices and other beverages like milk are all wet, and therefore must have some water in them. So as long as kids are drinking something wet, they’re getting water, right?
However, it is all the additives in addition to water, that sap the pure, healthy benefits of drinking pure, plain old water. Soft drinks with huge amounts of sugar, for example, significantly increase the risk of cavities in the mouth, requiring dental treatment. More seriously, however, is that soft drinks have a high-calorie count, versus the ZERO calories of water. In fact, soft drinks are regularly cited as one of the most significant contributors to obesity in both children and adults in America. Drinks with too many additives can affect blood pressure, and even raise the chances of diabetes.
Try to encourage your children to drink a glass of water several times a day; upon waking up, at bedtime, with every meal, and even just before bathing. It will make a big difference to their overall health and a high quality water filtration system can help!