Straight from the Tap

Hydration for Kids 101


Back-to-school is a busy time of year for parents and kids. While the list of school supplies is seemingly endless, consider encouraging healthy habits by sending your kids back to school with a reusable water bottle.

Proper hydration is absolutely essential for our overall health. The water we consume optimizes blood pressure, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, moves waste out of the body, and aids in digestion. Hydration is especially important for children as they are more prone to dehydration than adults. Kids’ bodies don't cool down as efficiently as adults and they don’t always recognize that they’re thirsty.

Mild dehydration can cause tiredness, headaches, irritability, and reduced mental performance. By carrying a water bottle, you encourage your kids to drink more water, keeping them focused and alert throughout the school day. Water is a healthier choice than sugary juice or soda and a reusable bottle is more environmentally friendly than a single-use plastic one.

The daily amount of water that a child needs depends on factors such as age, weight, and sex. Air temperature, humidity, activity level and a child’s overall health affect daily water requirements, too. According to University Hospitals, a good guideline to follow for how much water your child needs is:

  • 32 oz. a day for children 5-8 years old
  • 50 oz. a day for children 8-12 years old
  • 70 oz. a day for children 13+ years old

If your child is playing sports or is very active they will need extra fluid. Kids also need more fluid on hot days or if they’re sick. You should consult your pediatrician to be sure that your child is drinking the right amount of water.

Tips to help your kids stay hydrated:

  • Pack a water bottle for school and after-school activities
  • Encourage your child to drink water before, during, and after physical activity
  • Always offer water with meals and snacks
  • Be a role model! Make a point of drinking water with your kids

If you find it hard to get your kids to drink plain water, try these tips:

  • Add slices of fruit to water for flavor
  • Let your kids choose their own bottle or serve water in a fun glass
  • Experiment with temperature; try having a jug of water in the fridge, adding ice cubes, or even room temperature water
  • Include foods with a high water content, like fruits and vegetables, in snacks and meals

One way to get a water bottle: stop by one of the many community events our Education & Outreach team is at this summer. You and your kids and try your hand at Cleveland Water trivia to win a water bottle and other prizes!