Water: Just How Much Does Your Child Need?
By happykidsinc on January 07, 2013
We all know that water is an important nutrient for kids and adults alike. The obvious reason is that it keeps us hydrated. But when you hear about some of the other wondrous things that water does for your bodies, such as prevent cavities and regulate weight, it's important to make sure our children are getting enough.
How Much Water Should My Children Be Drinking?
Children need the same amount of water as adults, about 1 quart for every 1,000 expended. To break it down in an easy-to-grasp chart:
- 15 lbs, give 3 cups per day of fluids
- 22 lbs, give 4 cups per day of fluids
- 33 lbs, give 5 cups per day of fluids
- 44 lbs, give 6 cups per day of fluids
- 55 lbs, give 6.5 cups per day of fluids
- 66 lbs, give 7 cups per day of fluids
- 77 lbs, give 7.5 cups per day of fluids
What is the bodies #1 way it tells us that we are lacking water? Thirst (aka dehydration). But we don't want to get to the point of being particularly thirsty. It signals that our children's bodies are already suffering a bit due to dehydration. We want to aim to stay evenly hydrated throughout the day and avoid dehydration.
We do get a certain amount of water from food and beverages. If your child's diet is rich in fruits and vegetables in particular, they are off to a good start to staying hydrated. But we all know kids can be picky or forgetful. And keep this in mind, too, when comparing to adults vs. children drinking water:
Their sweating mechanisms are less efficient, and they often don’t react or respond to thirst in the same way as adults.
How Can I Make Sure My Children Are Getting Enough Water?
1. My best advice is to be the good example. Keep your water cup with you at all times: out on the counter, in the car, etc. and actively drink it. Make a point to state, "Mommy's getting her water in!" Our children are little sponges and they take to heart what we are teaching them. The more we set that good example, the better off they will be.
2. Make water drinking fun! I have mentioned my love for Klean Kanteen before. I love their products, both for myself and my kids. When you have a fun water bottle to drink from (especially one of the cute personalized ones that Pottery Barn Kids offers), then suddenly drinking water is hip.
4. Make sure they are eating lots of fruits and vegetables everyday. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeinated items.
What Are Signs That My Child Is Not Getting Enough Water?
1. The number one and most obvious sign is dehydration. If you child complains of thirst a lot, has a dry throat or raspiness to their voice, or is not urinating every few hours, they are dehydrated.
2. To get clinical, you can inspect the color of their urine. Pale yellow means they are well hydrated. If urine is darker yellow or brown, they are dehydrated and need to be drinking more water.
I hope you found this information helpful. Here's to staying hydrated!
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