Saturday, 18 June 2011

W-O-W! (Wiseup-On-Water)

It's time to Wise-up-On-Water!  Children establish drinking patterns early in childhood, so it is vital to teach them about the importance of good hydration at an early age. Good hydration benefits children’s health now and in the future.  Children can easily become dehydrated during hot weather and as a result of physical activity because they have:

• a higher surface area to body mass ratio compared to adults, so are more likely to lose water by evaporation
• less developed sweating ability and kidneys function (1)
• less sensitive thirst response (2)

Water is one of the most important basic nutrients required by the body, together with
carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. (3) Unfortunately, many children do not
drink adequately for their age or activity level. (4)  Some drink significantly less during the
school day than at the weekend. (5) 

In order to keep properly hydrated throughout the day, children need access to water
at school.  The promotion of good hydration is included within the government’s Food
in Schools programme, (6) which supports the National Healthy Schools Standard. (7)  It
advises that good quality drinking water should be available to pupils throughout the
day and not from taps or drinking fountains located in toilet areas. (8) 

(to be continued)

(1) Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium,
Chloride and Sulfate (2004) Institute of Medicine of the
National Academies. Washington DC: The National
Academies Press.
(2) Kenney WL, Chiu P. Influence of age on thirst and fluid
intake. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
(3) Food Science, Nutrition and Health. Ed BA Fox and AG
Cameron. 6th Edn. London: Edward Arnold 1995
(4) Rogers J. Fluid intake advice for children with continence
problems. Some issues explored. ERIC
(5) Rugg-Gunn A J, Hackett A F, Appleton D R, Eastoe J E,
Dowthwaite L, Wright W G. The water intake of 405
Northumbrian adolescents aged 12-14 years. British Dental
Journal 1987;162:335-340
(6) Food in schools programme. Department of Health and
Department of Education and Skills.
(7) National Healthy Schools Standard Initiative:
(8) Food in Schools Data Centre

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