January 29, 2023

The acim is coming to a close but on the end note of the school year is the question, are your children spending all day thirsty? Being thirsty or hungry are two of the most uncomfortable feelings in life. It is hardly fair to allow our children to feel thirsty during the day. Considering the length of time children spend in the school building every day, these children need to be getting plenty of water to drink while they are there.

Step into any school building across the nation and you will find water fountains and drink machines, in the classroom there might be a sink but never a cup dispenser. Getting a drink during class time may actually be impossible. Most children are encouraged to get a drink and go to the restroom either before or after recess, but probably not both. When lunch time rolls around, students have a choice between orange juice and milk, water simply isn’t on the menu. If students prefer water, they must get up during their lunch, go to the fountain get their drink and return to finish eating. The truth of the matter is that may not even be allowed by the lunch monitors.

Children as a general rule need to have between 6 to 8 eight ounce glasses of water each day for their basic health needs. Because they spend the majority of their day at school they need to be drinking at least half of that amount while they are at school. That means they should be drinking 3-4 glasses of water at school, the problem seems to be having cups or glasses to drink it out of. Almost all of the schools across the country only provide drinking fountains and drink machines, there are no cups available. If they are limited to a drinking fountain, there is literally no way they are getting even close to enough water.

Consider that there is always a line at the fountain when the students are allowed to get drinks and the teachers are encouraging them to hurry and allow others a chance to drink as well. It would be pretty hard to get a full 8 ounces of water in a drink from a fountain.

Nutrition advocates believe school children’s access to water is a national problem the federal government is only just beginning to deal with. In fact 15% of middle school aged children consume enough water during their day at school. This means that 85% of the school children don’t get enough water, no wonder we have childhood obesity problems in our country. Instead they are consuming soda and other sugary drinks out of the machines around school when they should be reaching for a cup of water. The main problem here is that the school makes money off the soda machines and they say their budgets don’t allow for the purchase of cups for water, or the filter systems that would be needed to guarantee the water was clean, great tasting water. Let’s face it; we don’t drink water if it doesn’t taste good. That would be why water fountains that don’t give cold water that tastes good don’t get used. Water fountains aren’t replaced real often and may be in disrepair or even not working altogether.

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