Let’s Talk…Water, Water, Everywhere
“Time to wake up, sweetheart.”
“Ugh… my stomach hurts, Mom… ugh…”
“Do you feel like you might get sick?”
Of course, this is one of many working parents’ ever-present fears… waking up to an ill child. This was the scenario at my house a few weeks ago, and the start of three days of bad stomach pains for my son. During day two he started to complain of dizziness, so on day three I took him to our family doctor. My son never had “official” stomach flu symptons (if you know what I mean), just pain, so my fears turned to appendicitis and other ill begotten stomach issues. Our family doctor said my son probably did have a little touch of some sort of stomach bug, but his biggest issue was that he needed to drink more water. What?!?!? After three days at home it hadn’t even occurred to me that might be the issue. We’ve all probably heard about the importance of water during the warm summer months, during periods of increased activity, and when we aren’t feeling well, but we can forget how important water is for overall good health, even during the winter months.
Water is a very important element to children’s health, helping with digestion support, constipation prevention, and proper blood circulation. There is no specific recommended amount for children, but it should be offered throughout the day. Offering water to children throughout the day is even a criterion on some tools that measure quality in early care and education environments.
For more information about water in our diets, check out this handout from the ChooseMyPlate.gov. How have you helped children in your care develop a habit for drinking water? Share your ideas at http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/childcare/water-water-everywhere/