The Study on health

Four thousand children were studied between 2009 and 2012 by the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers at Harvard looked at the results of that study to determine how many of those children were taking in adequate amounts of daily fluid, and what effects the lack of proper hydration had on the children in short term, and in the long term.

The results from researchers

According to the data the Harvard researchers saw two thousand, or roughly half of the children who participated in the study were not drinking enough to maintain proper hydration.

More boys were dehydrated than girls. The data revealed that seventy six percent of boys between the ages of six and nineteen were likely to be drinking too few fluids each day.

The data also revealed that there was a hydration discrepancy between the races of people. Thirty four percent more African American children between the ages of six and nineteen were found to be under-hydrated than white children.

According to the American Journal of Public Health one quarter of children do not drink any plain water on a daily basis. When children drink fluids, they are generally flavored or sugar filled liquids.

What can dehydration do to the body?

Dehydration can cause mental and physical damages to all of the body’s systems. Heat stroke can occur when temperatures are high and the body is under-hydrated. In severe cases of dehydration a person can experience:

  • Weakness
  • Mental confusion
  • Cognitive disruptions
  • Coma
  • Organ failure
  • Death

Why are the children in the United States not drinking enough plain water?

There are several reasons why the children in the United States are drinking inadequate amounts of water. These reasons include, but are not limited to the following:

  • When the kids are in school, they may have a limited access to drinking water, or times when they are allowed to get drinks of water.
  • Some children do not drink water while they are at school because they are trying to not have to go to the bathroom while they are at school. The school bathrooms often provide little privacy for the kids, and more children are bullied while in the school bathrooms than in any other area of the school.
  • Kids have greater access to sports drinks and sodas, so they do not choose plain water as a beverage.

What can be done to encourage kids to drink more water?

Children who add just eight ounces of water each day can greatly improve their hydration. The following tips can help parents to encourage their children to drink more water.

  • Cold water appeals to children more. Keep a container of cold drinking water in the refrigerator. Pack frozen water bottles in lunches so that they thaw out before lunch and the child has cold water to drink.
  • Do not wait for the child to say they are thirsty before you offer a drink to them. By the time the human body feels thirst it is already starting to dehydrate.
  • Infuse water with natural fruits like lemon, orange, or vegetables like cucumbers.