Getting enough water every day is essential to everyone's health, especially children. In addition to constituting nearly two-thirds of your child's body, water is vital to many of the functions that keep your young one alive and healthy.
Weight, age, and even sex can influence the amount of water your child should drink every day. The amount can also vary based on outside temperatures, humidity, and the level of your child's activity. However, while exact amounts can vary, most experts agree that children generally need:
• 7 cups of water for children 4 to 8
• 9 cups of water for girls 9 to 13
• 10 cups of water for boys 9 to 13
• 10 cups of water for girls 14 to 18
• 14 cups of water for boys 14 to 18
Staying hydrated benefits your child's body, mind, and even teeth! Consider these health perks that children receive when they drink enough water.
Improves Brain Function
Since the brain is composed of 73% water, staying hydrated can improve your child's memory, help with concentration, sharpen cognitive functions, and elevate mood. Additionally, an adequate amount of water can increase blood flow, allowing more oxygen to reach your child's brain. Not only does this reduce stress and anxiety, but it also helps with headaches.
Staying hydrated is a simple tool to help your child avoid constipation. The water facilitates the movement of food through the digestive system, keeps the intestines smooth and supple, and softens the stool, making it easier for your child to pass.
Aids in Digestion
Drinking enough water during mealtimes can help your child's digestive system break down food more easily. After this happens, the water helps dissolve vitamins and minerals in your food so these nutrients can easily travel to the cells of the body that need them. Additionally, your child's kidneys and liver utilize water to flush out unwanted waste products.
Juice, soda, iced tea, and sports drinks leave behind unwanted sugar on your child's teeth. Because this sugar provides food to the cavity-producing bacteria in the mouth, pediatric dentists recommend replacing sugary beverages with water. Drinking water throughout the day washes away leftover debris and residue and dilutes the acids caused by the bacteria in your child's mouth. The end result is a cleaner mouth with fewer cavities. Many community water systems also add fluoride to the water in an effort to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.
Water is critical to your child's natural functions and overall health and vitality. Make sure your child has easy access to water and be as encouraging as possible. Visit one of our pediatric dentists to learn more about preventing cavities and improving your child's health.