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The Importance of Water

What is the importance of water in child health?

Water is a fundamental building block for life. The body needs hydration in order for organs to function, and without water, organs such as the kidney and brain are unable to perform the work required of them. Most young children are almost constantly active and this means that their bodies lose water quickly through sweating, breathing, digestion and everyday kidney function. This water must be replenished in order for your child to be hydrated enough for optimal health.

What amount of water should a child drink?

About 50 to 60 millilitres is the amount of water children should drink per day, per kilogram of body weight. If your child weighs 20kg, then she needs to drink about one and a quarter litres of fluids every day. This amount should be increased after sweat-producing activities such as active play.

The importance of having plenty of water available when driving your child in a warm car (and in hot weather in general) can’t be stressed enough. In instances where your child is losing fluids faster than usual (such as in the event of diarrhoea), it is crucial to provide your child with replacement fluids that are balanced with the necessary minerals that are simultaneously depleted.

Water and child development

Water assists healthy child development by sustaining optimal mental and physical function. Ensure that your child is hydrated enough for her or his weight and age each day, and remember to increase fluid intake in conditions where increased fluid loss is expected. Consult your paediatrician for advice on hydration specific to your child’s current stage of development for complete peace of mind