Drinking water is one of the most important things we can do in order to keep our bodies running. It’s one of the key elements we need to survive, and that’s because it’s the key ingredient to keeping our organs working and our bodily processes in order. Although adults know that roughly 8 glasses of water a day will keep us going, how do we know how much our children need? And how can we get them to drink more?
Why do we need to drink water?
Our body weight is made up of around 60% of water and this helps keep our core temperature at an even rate in order for us to be healthy. Not only that, but the water in our bodies carries all of the important nutrients and oxygen to our cells, and carries waste away. We need to be drinking enough water each day in order to keep our blood volume at a decent level, lubricate our joints and keep us hydrated.
Throughout the day, we constantly lose water due to factors such as heat, physical activity, and even eating certain foods. If we don’t continually keep our water levels topped up, it can mean we become dehydrated and may bring on repercussions such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections more easily.
How much water should a child drink?
How much water children should drink depends on a number of factors including their age, weight and height. Where they live can also be a factor, taking into consideration the humidity, their activity level and their health. Fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet can also be a factor in how much water they should drink, as many of them have a higher water content than other solid foods.
As a general rule, boys and girls aged between 4 and 8 years old need around 1.1-1.3 litres of water a day. Girls aged between 9 and 13 need 1.3-1.5 litres of water a day, and boys aged 9-13 years old need 1.5-1.7 litres of water a day.
What are the signs of dehydration in children?
When it comes to how much water should a child drink, hydration is an important factor. However, if they’re not drinking enough, or they’re not getting the right amount from both foods and liquids, it can lead to dehydration. Sometimes, children can’t recognise thirst and are at risk of becoming dehydrated, more so than older children. Mild dehydration can be noticed in the form of irritability, headaches, tiredness, dry skin and reduced mental performance. If your child is lethargic or has become unresponsive, get them immediate medical attention or call 999.