Dehydrated Youth: Kids Are Not Drinking Enough Water, Study Says

A new study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that children and teens aren’t hydrating enough

Put down the sports drinks, soda, and apple juice: Water does a body good.

As summer is upon us, it’s important to remember that your kids need to stay hydrated as they play outside. According to researchers, kids aren’t drinking enough water. A new nationwide study from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health found that 54 percent of more than 4,000 kids and teens surveyed are not hydrated enough, and almost one in four kids surveyed admitted that they drank no water during the course of their day. This isn’t just a case of kids getting parched: A child or teen who is still growing can have serious concentration and health problems if he or she becomes dehydrated or drinks too many sugary and caffeinated beverages, say the study authors.

"Children don't have a highly developed thirst mechanism, so they're especially vulnerable to becoming dehydrated," Dianne Ward, a professor of nutrition in the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the Intervention and Policy Division, told CNN. "So parents need to remind their children to drink water.”

According to the results, boys were 76 percent more likely to be dehydrated than girls — which is a significant discrepancy — and black children were 34 percent more likely to be dehydrated than their white or Hispanic counterparts.

Want parched kids to take an interest in slugging down several glasses of water? Try floating pieces of fruit in their glasses to make hydration more appealing.

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