If you've ever wondered why your kids are finding it hard to concentrate, the answer could be pretty simple. They could be dehydrated.
A recent survey in the UK found that 72 per cent of five to 12-year-olds weren't getting the fluid they needed on a daily basis. And 49 per cent of parents noticed their children's ability to concentrate and remain engaged noticeably decreased when they didn't drink enough.
The amount of water a person should drink each day depends on a number of factors including their weight, height, age, gender, activity levels and climate.
On average, adults and children over 13 years should drink about two litres of water per day. Children aged between five and eight should drink five glasses (one litre) of water, and children aged between nine and 12 years should drink seven glasses of water.
The human body can't store water, so it's necessary kids drink water regularly or their body will begin to dry out. And as the brain is made up of 75 per cent water, dehydration can have a noticeable effect on a kid's ability to function well mentally. That's why it's important kids are encouraged to drink more water during the day.
Not drinking enough can have a negative effect on their physical and mental performance and can lead to headaches, sleepiness or fatigue, feeling light headed, stressed, moody, irritable and impatient. You can tell if they're not drinking enough if their urine is dark yellow and strong smelling.
It's an easy fix: just encourage them to drink more fluids. This could include milk, juice or herbal teas - and even eating fruit, vegetables and ice blocks can help. It's also a good idea to ensure they carry their water bottle with them when out and about.
You want to avoid long-term effects of dehydration, which include constipation, urinary tract infections and the formation of kidney stones.
If your kids are drinking lots of water they will be able to concentrate better, be less tired, be more alert and will find it easier at school and playing sport. They'll be happier and feel more energised.