How Much Water Should My Child Drink to Be Healthy?

Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

True or false? More than 50% of children in a Harvard study were not adequately hydrated?  True!

little girl with water bottle“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.” In fact, boys are less likely to drink enough fluid when compared with girls. And just an 8 fluid ounce daily increase in water intake was enough to significantly lower risk of inadequate hydration.

Below you will find some ideas to help your children stay hydrated. In addition, print out the #KidsEatClean Badge and let your child pass it out to classmates – or if they’re involved in group activities, to team members – so everyone is mindful of the fact that we need to sip all day long.

Get the Scoop on H2O

kids eat clean badgeDetermining children’s hydration needs is based on the individual. There is no perfect calculation or amount of water prescribed for every child.  Generally speaking, one ounce of fluid per pound of body weight per day is prudent, but a spot difficult to calculate exactly because intake from fruits and vegetables as well as wet foods such as yogurt figure into the calculation.

  • Generally, there is a minimum fluid intake set at 50 ounces on average per day for children ages 5-12.
  • If your child is an athlete or moves a lot, he may need up to 25% more water per day than the average child.
  • Sipping clean water throughout the day, averaging 3-4 ounces per hour in a 12 hour day is generally a good practice.

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About the Author

Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a Harvard trained psychologist, a mother of two, an international educator, and pediatric psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ. Since 1985, Dr. Kenney has worked as an educator in community service from the inner cities of Los Angeles to national organizations such as The Neurological Health Foundation, Understood.org, HandsOn Phoenix, and Points of Light (Generation On). Dr. Kenney’s works include the Social-Emotional Literacy program Bloom Your Room™; Musical Thinking; Bloom: 50 things to say, think and do with anxious, angry and over-the-top-kids and 70 Play Activities For Better Thinking, Self-Regulation, Learning and Behavior. Learn more at www.lynnekenney.com. Lynne is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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