Many of us have had experiences related to hydration and the impact on health. Here are some insights from those who have contacted us. Why not email us with your experience to share?
Ruth Gottlieb, 40 year old mother from Brighton
Ruth is a mum of two – a six year old boy and a three year old girl – she has been married for over 10 years. She is also a self employed part-time music teacher and musician, but has a lot on her plate in terms of looking after the family.
“When picking up my son from primary school last summer, he started complaining on a regular basis that he had head aches and felt giddy. He’s usually pleased to see me and full of energy when I collect him from school, but I started noticing that he seemed unusually quiet and unable to concentrate on anything I was saying to him. I thought he was coming down with a bug, but he didn’t have a temperature and had eaten all of his lunch. I also noticed a real difference in his behaviour and he was easily irritable.
As a safety measure, I started getting him to drink a couple of large glasses of water when he got home and it was easy to see his energy returning. I wondered whether he’d drunk many fluids at school during the day and he said he couldn’t remember. I had been giving him a carton of fruit juice in his lunchbox to take to school, and then he usually helps himself to water from the jugs in the school canteen. But I suspected that he’d not been drinking anything else apart from the juice.
“To encourage him to drink more water I now also put a bottle of plain water in his lunchbox (along with the fruit juice), I explained to him that it’s important he sips the water throughout the day, especially if it’s warm weather or he’s been running around. I am, however, concerned he doesn’t fully recognise the early stages of feeling thirsty and relies on adults to provide him with a drink.”
Jo Hart, mother of two from Devon
“Like a lot of schools, my children’s school is reluctant to let pupils drink ‘too much’ during lessons as they worry it will increase bathroom visits. This obviously makes it difficult for me to make sure they drink enough. When they don’t get enough water they suffer with headaches and constipation – all the usual signs of dehydration, and it must affect their concentration at school too. It’s a bit easier now they are older, but now the battle is to get them to drink healthy options. Some of their school friends take sugary drinks to school, rather than something healthy like water. But, my motto has always been, if it’s not on offer at home, then they won’t grow up asking for it. My son thinks fizzy water is a treat but my daughter suffers more from her peers and does want lemonade. She is allowed one glass of lemonade when we go out and is then quite happy with water. I’m hoping it stays that way!”