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Did you know? The average human body is 60 percent water. Water is necessary to keep several body functions going, such as regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, protecting organs, flushing out waste, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells, and dissolving minerals and nutrients.
So what happens when your children do not stay properly hydrated? These functions—including attention and memory—will suffer as their bodies will be unable to perform normally. In general, children are at greater risk of dehydration than adults due to their higher surface to body weight ratio and smaller reserves of body fluids.
This poses a problem, especially now that your kids are back at school. Water makes up about 80 percent of the brain, and with the amount of schoolwork, assignments, and school projects they have to complete, not to mention the exams they have to prepare for, optimizing their mental performance is a must.
That comes with a lot of studying and hard work, but don't forget to start with the basics: make sure your kids are properly hydrated.
Here are some possible scenarios when school children suffer from dehydration:
He won't be able to think clearly
When the body experiences dehydration, it affects sodium and electrolyte levels, which has also been linked to cognitive changes. In particular, an imbalance in sodium can result in a confused state, and may result in memory loss and attention deficit. In one study, teenagers showed poor performance in a problem-solving task when they were dehydrated, similar to how a mobile phone wouldn't work when it's not sufficiently charged.
He won't be able to remember things
Water is essential in neurological transmissions, so when poorly hydrated, kids' brains ability to transmit and receive information is affected. This also has an impact on mental performance and learning ability. There are studies that show that memory, attention, and concentration decrease by as much as 10 percent once a child feels thirsty.
He would always feel tired
Because children are in school several hours a day, there is greater risk for them to go for long periods of time without drinking water. Some would even think it's "un-cool" to drink water, and opt instead for sweetened drinks. But dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, poor concentration, and reduced cognitive abilities, which ultimately affect school performance. How can a child last through a 40-minute class, for instance, if he feels tired and unable to focus?
He would be irritable
Lethargy and irritability are also effects of mild dehydration. In this case, the ability to participate in class and work on a project with classmates may also suffer. But it doesn't stop there. If the condition progresses to severe dehydration, it can increase the risk of other heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. This is a concern especially in our country's tropical weather, and also in schools where air-conditioning is not available at all times.
He won't be able to concentrate
Other functions that are impaired by dehydration include short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory. These involve the ability to perform simple mental arithmetic, such as how many minutes are left before the class is over; as well as recalling past lessons in order to answer the questions in a quarterly test. These may be experienced when a child’s body fluids are low.
Now, because parents like you can't watch over kids the whole time in school, you'll need to instill in them the habit of drinking water at regular intervals during the day. Yes, even when they're not thirsty! Guidelines say that children should aim to drink about six to eight glasses of fluid per day (aside from the water provided by food in the diet). Younger kids need about 150ml per drink, and for older children, bigger servings, about 250 to 300 ml per drink.
Show your child your #AbsoluteLove by making sure they stay properly hydrated the whole day. Pack a bottle of Absolute Pure Distilled Drinking Water in their lunchbox with a note that reminds them you are thinking of them—and their wellbeing—even when they are at school. Moms like you only choose what's best for your kids, and that includes choosing the distilled drinking water that meets the highest standards. A mom's #AbsoluteLove is really the best kind of love!
Click here to join over a hundred thousand moms who are dedicated to give their families their 100% #AbsoluteLove.