Did you know that something as simple as drinking water can have a positive impact on a child’s intelligence? Recent research suggests that staying hydrated can reduce anxiety and improve thinking skills in children. In fact, students who brought water into the exam room performed about 10% better than those who didn’t, according to a study presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual meeting in London.
The Science Behind Water and Brain Function
The University of London conducted an experiment in which 9-year-old children were divided into two groups: one group drank 250ml of water, while the other group drank no water. After taking a test for 20 minutes, the children who drank water scored 34% higher. This led scientists to believe that hydrated brain cells function better, as water promotes cognitive abilities in young children.
Making Water a Priority for Children’s Health
Drinking water is important, but knowing how to do it right is even more crucial for the health and intelligence of children. Here are a few key points to consider:
1. How much water is enough?
- Newborns: 150 ml per kg of body weight per day.
- Children from 1 to 12 months: 110 ml per kg of body weight per day.
- Children from 12 to 36 months: 100 ml – 110 ml per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Children 3 to 13 years old: Boys’ daily water needs are 1500ml to 1800ml, girls 1200 to 1600ml.
- Children 13 and over: Boys’ daily water needs are 2000-2500ml and girls’ daily water needs are 1500ml-1700ml.
2. The right time to drink water
Children rarely drink water on their own, usually waiting until they are too thirsty. However, it is important to choose the right time for them to drink water:
Between meals: Avoid giving your child water before or immediately after a meal. Drinking water before meals can affect their appetite, while drinking water right after a meal can hinder digestion. The best option is to offer water between meals.
After waking up: Children tend to sweat and have dry mouths after waking up. Providing water at this time helps with their metabolism and improves kidney function.
After showering: Bathing in an airtight space with high temperature can cause thirst and dry skin in children. Offering water to drink about 15 minutes after bathing can speed up waste metabolism and soothe dry skin.
After crying: Crying depletes the amount of water in the body, making the throat dry and sore. Giving water to children after they have stopped crying not only rehydrates them but also creates a communication bridge between parents and children, helping the little ones process their emotions.
3. Beware of the Wrong Types of Water
There are certain types of water that are not suitable for children:
Water that is too cold or too hot: Extreme temperatures can damage the mouth, esophagus, and stomach lining. It’s important to respect the child’s judgment when it comes to drinking water at an appropriate temperature.
Too mineralized water: Water with a high mineral content can disrupt the body’s water composition balance, causing water loss. Avoid water with excessive minerals, as children have different needs compared to adults.
Sugar water and juice: Adding sugar or fruit juice to water may make it taste sweet and appealing to children, but it’s not recommended. Overconsumption of sugar can lead to health issues like obesity and affect growth and development.
Water left for more than 24 hours: Make sure children drink freshly boiled water during the day instead of water that has been stored for more than 24 hours. Storing water for an extended period of time allows bacteria to enter and degrade the water quality, potentially affecting health.
Remember, it’s important to store cooled boiled water in containers that meet safety standards and avoid using recycled plastic bottles.
By promoting healthy water consumption habits and ensuring children stay properly hydrated, parents can contribute to their children’s cognitive development and overall well-being.
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Article inspired by Vy Trang’s article on Vnexpress.