One very simple suggestion for keeping your children (and yourself) healthy, alert, energised and resistant to illness is to make sure they drink plenty of fluids.
We can go for weeks without food but only days without water. Every bodily function, especially digestion, needs water. Water transports nutrients, it flushes away waste and it controls our body temperature.
Children do not always recognise the sensation of thirst. They can find drinking water a bit boring and so may resist it.
But with #Coronovirus around, regular fluid intake is even more essential. We are all more susceptible to water loss during bouts of rapid breathing, high temperature or sweating.
As prevention is always better than cure, it is sensible to try to reduce the risk of #dehydration and establish good habits now. This will also help with our child's concentration and energy levels whilst they are being #homeschooled.
Remind them to drink fluids regularly throughout the day (6 - 8 small glasses is ideal). Fresh water is best. Avoid fizzy, sugary and caffineated drinks as these may actually be dehydrating and have other health implications. Diluted squash and fruit juices are better.
Have a large bottle of water and glasses on the table where you work together. Make a game or challenge of drinking regularly with a little reward (perhaps it is their job to remind YOU!)
If a child is resistant to drinking, increase their fluid intake with foods like soup, jelly, yoghurt and fruits.
A useful part of homeschooling can be encouraging a child to engage with their body. For example: get them to examine their wee - and check out the #NHS wee chart (below) This is a very simple and fascinating way to signal our levels of hydration and health
Help them become more aware of their body by sitting quietly with eyes closed for a minute and noticing: What sensations do they feel? Are they hungry? Thirsty? Bored? Excited? Is there any discomfort? Where? Do they need a wee? Or possibly a poo?
Share some Fun Facts:
We produce and swallow up to 5 cups of spit a day!
Eat cucumber, it is 96% water and brilliant when your dehydrated.
Tell someone with a smelly fart to drink more water! It may be a sign they are becoming constipated.
Our digestive system produces approximately 7 litres of fluid a day - that’s almost a bucket of fluid!
As Parents we need to be observant and check if our children are properly hydrated:
Is their mouth dry?
Have they been wee'ing regularly?
What colour is their wee?
Are they lethargic and grumpy?
‘Children may be less inclined to eat when dehydrated, be less active and more irritable’ Janet MacGregor - A guide for students of nursing, child care and health
If you are concerned call 111 to seek advice and proper treatment.