Drinking water is a human right and is necessary for continued good health, especially for Children who do not necessarily recognise the signs of dehydration or know how it can affect them.
According to various research articles though, there are still too many schools that do not provide water to scholars, and most of these schools do not allow the drinking of water in classrooms either. This means that unless the children drink water of their own accord during their break-times, they can often go without drinking even one glass of water for up to fourteen hours.
The best method of ensuring that children do have sufficient access to water while at school is for the schools to purchase a few drinking fountains and place them in easily accessible areas. Teachers of younger children should ensure that they have a drink of water in the mornings and also during break times to ensure that they remain fully hydrated throughout the day.
When children do after school activities such as sport, the coach should also ensure that they have access to fresh drinking water at all times. Parents should also pack a container of drinking water for their children, and encourage them to refill it at the drinking fountain when it is empty.
Department of Education guidelines state that the Local Authority or governing body must ensure that pupils have easy access at all times to free, fresh drinking water on school premises, but we all know that these guidelines are not always followed, so make sure that your child’s school is following the rules b making regular visits to check.
While the amount of water that a child needs to drink differs from child to child, depending on factors such as age, gender, weather and physical activity levels, Department of Health guidelines state that younger children should drink between 6-8 150ml glasses of fluid per day and older children should drink 6-8 250ml to 300ml glasses of fluid per day.
Another way to ensure that your child remains hydrated is by giving them water-rich fruit such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple, oranges, plums, grapes, apples and pears to take to school.
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