The importance of water for children

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Water: essential for existence. Especially for children. In fact, to grow well, every child needs to drink properly. His body, as the experts of the SIPPS (Society of the Paesena of Preventive and Social Pediatrics) recall, is made up of 75% water. (Also read how much water children should drink)

On the occasion of the next day of March 22, World Water Day, here are the useful tips from the SIPPS experts for one proper hydration of children.

March 22, World Water Day

World Water Day was established in 1992 by the United Nations to raise public awareness of the importance of running water and to promote proper management.

Water is essential for the human body: its functions

  • regulates body temperature
  • eliminates toxins
  • helps the body absorb nutrients
  • carries oxygen and nutrients to cells
  • transforms food into energy
  • brings mineral salts

"Water - says Dr. Giuseppe Di Mauro, President of SIPPS - is an essential element due to the numerous functions it performs in the body: it regulates body temperature, eliminates toxins, helps the body absorb nutrients, transforms food into energy, transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Correct hydration also guarantees an adequate supply of mineral salts, dissolved in the spring water. For all these reasons, a correct diet requires the intake of water every day, at any age".

How much water should children drink?

It depends on age, daily diet and other external factors such as illness (with fever you need to drink more), physical activity and ambient temperature.

As a guideline, here is how many liquids a child should take, in addition to those contained in food, according to the SIPPS:

  • From 4 to 10 years: 1100 ml (one liter and 100 ml)
  • Adolescents: 1500-2000 ml (one and a half / two liters)

And for the little ones? There comes to our aid Del Paesena Society of Human Nutrition which in 2022 proposed LARN, reference nutrient intake levels, for water. In practice, the indication of how much water should be consumed every day, divided by age groups (including in this case also that contained in food and which also depends on external factors).

  • 6-12 months: 800 ml of water
  • 1-3 years: 1200 ml of water

When to know if a child needs to drink?

Our body has a thirst self-control system that has its control unit in the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain. The small child, like the elderly, this self-regulation system is not always efficient. So it's important offer him a drink often, even if he doesn't ask.

Spies that help parents understand that your baby has to drink I'm:

  • headache, feeling cold, muscle cramps
  • dark yellow and concentrated urine

Both situations occur even more often in conjunction with summer and excessive heat.

Since when to introduce water to the baby?

  • it starts from weaning

"In the first months of life, the infant does not need to introduce other liquids besides the milk which is composed, both maternal and artificial, for about 90% of water" said the family pediatrician from Genoa Alberto Ferrando, who at he topic dedicated a chapter of his latest book How to feed my son (LSWR Editions, 2022). "There is generally no need for any supplements until weaning begins, which is when the baby is ready to introduce some other food into his diet, which is usually around six months, but in some cases a little. sooner or a little later ".

Water and sport: what if the child is sporty?

Particular attention to children playing sports. Physical activity involves a loss of fluids. For this reason it will be necessary to encourage drinking before, during and after. But without the addition of mineral salts or drinks with sugars. Enough water at room temperature for a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.

How to entice children to drink?

The tricks could be different. As SIPPS experts advise, they range from using colored glasses to turning drinking into a game. But also to teach the child to serve himself a drink. Parents and teachers can lead by example by drinking frequently throughout the day and always carrying a bottle of water with them.

What water should children drink?

As reported by the Del Paesena Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics, after the year the mineral or spring waters with a fixed residue 500-1500 mg / L, which guarantee a correct calcium intake.

Read also: tap water or not?

To learn more:

  • children and water: when should they start drinking it? How much? And what kind?
  • how much water should children drink
  • infants: since when they can drink water
  • tap or bottled water?

  • water and children
  • water children
  • 3-5 children years
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