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Let children drink WATER at Dean Rusk Middle School!

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Our children need to be able to drink water throughout the day at school. Here are some articles relating to the importance of drinking water. We must team together and come up with a solution to get the administration to allow water back at Dean Rusk Middle School. Nothing is more important than the health and well being of our youth.
(CNN)There's one simple liquid that has a huge effect on how well your family feels today: water.
More than half of children and teenagers in the United States might not be properly hydrated, according to a nationwide study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. In fact, 54.5% of the students in the study had urine concentrations that qualified them as below their minimum daily water intake.
"I was surprised that almost one in four kids drank no water during the course of their day," said lead author Erica Kenney, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School.
Not all children and adolescents were equally dehydrated, according to the study. Boys surveyed were 76% more likely to be inadequately hydrated than girls, which was a statistically significant finding.
While mild dehydration typically isn't life threatening, not drinking enough water could result in cognitive impairment, headaches and even nausea in severe cases, according to Dr. Anisha Patel, a pediatrician at the University of California, San Francisco.
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For younger children, symptoms include fussiness, infrequent urination, dry mouth and a lack of tears when the child is crying. "Keeping kids hydrated can help them with learning and to perform better in school," said Patel.
But how much water is enough? For kids and teenagers, daily water requirements vary quite a bit and depend on several factors, including age and activity level.
For total water intake, experts recommend that kids get the majority from drinking water, but also a small amount from food. Kids 1 to 3 years old need roughly four cups of drinking water daily. For kids 4 to 8, five cups is recommended a day. Once kids reach 9, the requirements differ by sex. For boys 9 to 13, eight cups of water is recommended daily, while girls need about seven cups.
"Children don't have a highly developed thirst mechanism, so they're especially vulnerable to becoming dehydrated," said Dianne Ward, a professor of nutrition in the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the Intervention and Policy Division. "So parents need to remind their children to drink water," Ward says.
When you think about losing water from the body, urination typically comes to mind. But breathing, sweating and your skin are all other paths that water can take to exit the body. In fact, adults lose nearly 4 cups of water a day through the skin and normal breathing. That's why it's important to regularly rehydrate our bodies, which are roughly 60% water by mass depending on age and body composition.
All experts agreed that kids should steer clear of caffeinated and sugary beverages because these drinks contain other ingredients that don't necessarily provide nutritional benefits. Even worse, beverages with caffeine are mildly diuretic, meaning they cause the body to produce more urine. This means that caffeine could even make dehydration worse.
While 99% of the U.S population has access to clean drinking water, some schools built before the 1980s may have contaminated drinking water because of lead water pipes, according to Patel. For these communities, purified water from outside sources or bottled water are possible alternatives.
The experts we spoke to all had one resounding message: schools need to do a better job of providing kids access to clean drinking water, and not just during lunch time.
Patel's research has shown that some schools have already taken steps in the right direction by providing water in attractive pitchers, refillable water bottles and easy-to-use fill stations.
At home, parents can start by setting by a good example: drinking primarily plain water to create a "culture of hydration," said Ward. "Children shouldn't even have to ask for water," and younger children in child care should have clean drinking water available to them at all times.
What do you, the trees, and a hamster have in common? Give up? You all need water. All living things must have water to survive, whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud, or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage. Without water, your body would stop working properly. Water makes up more than half of your body weight, and a person can't survive for more than a few days without it. Why? Your body has lots of important jobs and it needs water to do many of them. For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop working. Water is also in lymph (say: limf), a fluid that is part of your immune system, which helps you fight off illness. You need water to digest your food and get rid of waste, too. Water is needed for digestive juices, urine (pee), and poop. And you can bet that water is the main ingredient in perspiration, also called sweat. Besides being an important part of the fluids in your body, water is needed by each cell to function normally. Your body doesn't get water only from drinking water. Any fluid you drink will contain water, but water and milk are the best choices. Lots of foods contain water, too. Fruit contains quite a bit of water, which you could probably tell if you've ever bitten into a peach or plum and felt the juices dripping down your chin! Vegetables, too, contain a lot of water — think of slicing into a fat tomato from the garden or crunching into a crisp stalk of celery.
How Much Is Enough?
Since water is so important, you might wonder if you're drinking enough. There is no magic amount of water that kids need to drink every day. Usually, kids like to drink something with meals and should definitely drink when they are thirsty. But when it's warm out or you're exercising, you'll need more. Be sure to drink some extra water when you're out in warm weather, especially while playing sports or exercising. When you drink is also important. If you're going to sports practice, a game, or just working out or playing hard, drink water before, during, and after playing. Don't forget your water bottle. You can't play your best when you're thinking about how thirsty you are! When your body doesn't have enough water, that's called being dehydrated. Dehydration also can keep you from being as fast and as sharp as you'd like to be. A bad case of dehydration can make you sick. So keep that water bottle handy when the weather warms up! Not only does water fight dehydration, but it's awfully refreshing and has no calories. Your body can help you stay hydrated by regulating the amount of water in your system. The body can hold on to water when you don't have enough or get rid of it if you have too much. If your pee has ever been very light yellow, your body might have been getting rid of excess water. When your pee is very dark yellow, it's holding on to water, so it's probably time to drink up. You can help your body by drinking when you're thirsty and drinking extra water when you exercise and when it's warm out. Your body will be able to do all of its wonderful, waterful jobs and you'll feel great!
Children are at a much greater risk of dehydration, as the process can begin much more rapidly in them. Once the body is dehydrated, the internal temperature rises and the body, particularly the brain, overheats. Since children are still growing, there is all the more need to keep the body hydrated so that it functions properly. Children should always have unlimited access to safe drinking water. A loss of 2% of body fluids causes a 20% reduction in performance in both physical and mental activities. Dehydration in excess of 3% may lead to heat stroke, a condition to which children are much more prone than adults are.
Another reason why children should drink up is that their thirst mechanisms are less developed than adults', and tend to appear after dehydration has already set in. Children should therefore be encouraged to drink water even if they are not thirsty. Headaches, irritability and sleepiness are often signs of dehydration. Of course, children are bombarded with ads of cool soft drinks, but parents, please note that water is a far better choice. Since water is such an important component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of water should be just as important as the quantity. Therefore, your drinking water should always be clean and free of contaminants. Now the hard part is getting those kids to drink on a daily basis!
Tips For Getting Your Children To Drink More Water
Keep the water cold, kids often think room temperature water is distasteful. Allow your child to choose their favorite cup or silly straw to be used only with water. If they want to use that cup, they must pour water in it! Bright colored pitchers or even fun shaped ice cubes will attract your kids. Save the sugary and carbonated drinks for a special treat, such as the movies or out to dinner. Water for children is an important and healthy habit to implement whilst they are young. This way they will grow up teaching their kids the same thing! Children disregard water fountains at school and make their way to the soda machines. This is mainly because kids think that water has no flavor thus making it a second or even third choice drink. Don’t forget to be a good role model and drink plenty of water yourself! Encouraging water consumption can help make a positive change in the entire family.
So what does your body do with all that water?
It moves as blood around all your body - most of your blood is water - and water is also in lymph which travels around your body.
• Blood and lymph are the main ways the body gets food and oxygen to your cells and the way wastes get taken away - this is a very important job for water!! Blood and lymph also have special cells in them which fight infections - they are part of your immune system.
• Water carries digestive enzymes (say dy-jest-iv enz-eye-mz) around your digestive system, so that your food can be broken up into all the bits your body needs.
• All the stuff the body doesn't need has to get out of the body somehow. Some of it goes from the blood to the kidneys, which make urine (wee) - which is mostly water. Some stays in your gut and comes out as faeces (poo) - which is also mostly water! Some comes out in the air you breathe (if you breathe onto a really cold mirror you will see little drops of water on the glass - this is water from your breath).
• You also use water to keep your body temperature at about 37ºC.
• Water comes out through the tiny holes in your skin called pores.
This water we call perspiration or sweat and it helps to cool our bodies.
• Water is in the fluids that keep your joints moving smoothly [like knees and elbows] so that your bones don't creak and groan like a rusty swing.
• Saliva, or spit as we usually call it, is mostly water. We know when we need more water because our mouth feels dry.
• Mucus is also mostly water. That's the stuff that you see too much of when you've got a runny nose! But mucus is very important, as it keeps eyes, ears, noses, throats and all your inside bits smooth and slippery so that everything can run around all your body systems without getting stuck!
Now that you can see how important water is, you can understand why your body needs so much of it.


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