Water plays an important role in maintaining overall health. Drinking water supports muscles, joints, and tissues; improves the digestive system; and keeps bodies hydrated. This is vital to the well being of children and their growth. Drinking water helps with learning as well. If a child is well hydrated, they can see better results in their efforts in school. Staying well hydrated helps improve short-term memory, fine motor skills, and visual attention – all things that help the success of kids in the classroom and beyond. But- how kids hydrate also matters.
Drinks like juices, sports drinks, and teas might sound like healthier alternatives, but they can have as much or more sugar than soda, which could lead to health issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and unhealthy weight. Kids could potentially see a lifetime of health issues related to these unhealthy drinks. But, if we can help kids swap from sugary drinks to water, we can help them address the immediate sugar they’re drinking, setting them up with the foundation of making water a part of their regular life, potentially reducing their risk for heart disease and other diet related health issues.
For this reason, we are supporting improving access to water in schools. Many times, schools might not have enough drinking fountains or when they do, they might be out of date or unsanitary, making access to water difficult. We are supporting policies and funding that go towards supporting access to water in schools. This can take shape in different ways depending on the state or local area, but essentially, we are looking for schools to improve children’s access to water throughout the day. We’d like new building plans to have water access included in the plans, we are looking for schools to address current water access in buildings through improving fountains where possible and simply allowing water bottles or providing them where needed so that every student can safely access clean water while at school.
We know water is vital to the growth of children and a healthier life in mind and body. That’s why it’s so important we make sure all students get fair access to healthy water. Unfortunately, in some communities it can be hard to access it at home. Therefore, we need ensure that water is abundantly available throughout the school day for all youth in all communities.
If you are interested in this issue, please reach out to me or your Government Relations Director for more information about the efforts in your community.