Water Access in Schools

Female student drinking from water bottle in school gym

The Issue

Water plays an important role in maintaining a child’s overall health, such as regulating temperature, protecting sensitive tissues, transporting nutrients, and ridding the body of wastes. Drinking sufficient amounts of water can have many health benefits, such as reduced dental cavities and maintaining a healthy weight.

Yet, most children and adolescents do not consume enough water.

Water bottle filling station

States can improve drinking water availability to ensure that all kids, no matter where they live, have access to free, clean drinking water in school. Studies show when water bottle filling stations are installed in schools, students nearly triple how much water they drink at lunch time. AND the likelihood of kids in those same schools being at an unhealthy weight is greatly reduced. Drinking enough water may also improve a child’s performance in school and has been shown to help with reasoning skills and short-term memory. It also can help with visual attention and fine motor skills, making it easier for children to learn what they are reading.

The Association Advocates

The American Heart Association supports enacting policies that ensure all newly constructed schools and schools undergoing major renovations have water bottle filling stations.