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Water Access Matters for Tennessee Youth

Water is critical to a child’s health, supporting their muscles, joints, and tissues; it can even improve a child’s digestion. Yet, many students don't get enough water. The bad news? Tennessee’s school-aged children are ranked some of the most overweight students in all 50 states.

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The good news? Water plays an important role in fighting obesity and in a child’s overall health.  Drinking water can help students maintain a healthier weight...  not to mention, water keeps growing kids hydrated.

The American Heart Association (AHA) in Tennessee is advocating for water access in schools -- urging school districts to add water bottle filling stations in any K-12 public school being newly built, or majorly renovated. The AHA encourages school districts to consider placing: 1) at least one water bottle filling station on each floor of the school building 2) at least one water bottle filling station in each school food service area, and 3) at least one water bottle filling station in proximity to the gymnasium, playground, and athletic facilities. The AHA also advocates students be allowed to bring a clear water bottle to school.

During these unprecedented times, water bottle filling stations and personal water bottles may even  help reduce the spread of germs and disease. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC now recommends staff and students to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains.

Studies also show while most children don’t drink enough water, adequate water can help children learn better.  It can improve children’s short-term memory, fine motor skills, and visual attention ... which help with learning activities such as reading.

Because we love our kids, ensuring they drink enough water throughout the day while also improving their overall health is the right thing to do. 

The bottom line: we can influence real change for the health of Tennessee’s children, but we need your help.  Will you join us and support improved water access today?

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