With the new autumn term well under way, it has been revealed that parents across the UK are struggling to monitor their children’s drinking habits whilst at school. Research from BRITA shows that nearly three quarters (73%) of parents do not know how much water their children drink during the school day and 66% are not sure of the recommended daily intake of fluid.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 parents of primary school children, found that despite not knowing how much water their child should or does drink; 92% believe hydration to be important as it helps boost concentration levels during lessons. Parents do however have greater control over their children’s drinking habits during the weekends and holidays, with 63% always ensuring they provide water to drink whilst they are at home.
Over three quarters (77%) of parents across the nation said the main challenge they face is combating their child’s forgetfulness when it comes drinking the recommended amount of water, making it difficult for parents to ensure they are properly hydrated.
Renowned London dietician and nutritionist, Jo Travers commented:
“Children are less likely to recognise the early stages of thirst, which adults are more aware of, meaning they can forget that drinking water regularly is important. When children return to school, after being under their parent’s guidance during the holidays, they can quickly get out of the habit of drinking regularly if they aren’t being reminded.”
When they come home from school, parents recognise the symptoms of dehydration in their children; with over half (56%) of respondents saying they are irritable and 59% noticing they are tired.
“Children require higher quantities of water in relation to their body weight than adults,” adds Jo. “When hydrated, children have greater cognitive function, better visual attention, improved accuracy in motor skills such as handwriting, and more concentration which helps them to perform better. Therefore it is important that parents have access to the right information and support to help them keep their children hydrated throughout the school day.”
In response to this, water filtration expert BRITA has launched the Back to School Hydration Initiative to encourage children to drink water and to help parents monitor their intake. BRITA has created limited edition child-friendly stickers for the Fill&Go bottle, which are available to win via BRITA’s Facebook page. The stickers provide a measurement level for break time, lunchtime and home time so that children know how much to drink and when, encouraging healthy habits and helping them stay alert and hydrated all day.
Rebecca Widdowson, Marketing Director at BRITA commented:
“Hydration in children is very important, especially whilst at school, so we wanted to provide a solution that would be both helpful to parents and easy for children to understand. The Back to School Hydration Initiative is centred around making the portable Fill&Go bottle a tool to allow children to monitor what they are drinking themselves.”