Many of you emailed and tweeted this CNN article to me: For schoolchildren, where’s the water? Some surprising statistics:
- Only 15% of kids (middle-school age) consume adequate amounts of water.
- Kids should be consuming half of their daily water intake at school.
- Children should get 6-8 glasses of water per day.
- Teenagers need 11 glasses per day (wow!)
I’ve blogged about water at school before. My students drink water from the drinking fountain. There are quite a few fountains in the school so access to water is not terrible. My students only complaint is that the water can be hot sometimes. In the cafeteria area, there is just one drinking fountain and it’s sort of in the hallway, which makes it practically inaccessible while kids eat their lunches. Before or after lunch kids at my school can drink (depending on individual teachers’ preferences), but not during lunch.
I don’t drink out of the watering fountains. My first and second years of teaching I did and I caught every germ that passed through the school. When I witnessed a little girl putting her whole mouth over the spigot, I stopped cold turkey. I carry a reusable water bottle to work with water from home. I don’t refill at work, but instead I bring in all my water from home. Some kids carry water bottles, which are often plastic.
The CNN article discusses the fact that most schools don’t have cups for water. Paper cups would be wasteful (you have seen the lunches and so you already know about the waste issue). Plastic cups are long gone (just like real silverware — there is no place to wash them).
This is a big issue and it’s going to take some creative problem solving to fix. Ideas?