Sugary Drinks and Children
When it comes to safety, what a child drinks can have a huge effect on their overall health. With that in mind, let’s discuss sugary drinks and children.
Hydration is Always Important
Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial for staying healthy. In particular, growing bodies require lots of liquids. When kids are running around or burning lots of energy, a refreshing drink can help to keep their bodies pumping away.
How much liquid does a body need? Well, that depends on the person. There isn’t a magic answer here. Everyone needs to pay attention to their own body, or that of their child in this case. Your body type and rate of activity can affect how much liquid your body requires to avoid dehydration.
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more water than they have consumed. In many cases, one loses water through a combination of sweat and urine. A person suffering from dehydration may face a variety of health issues, including:
- Greater risk for falling
- Low blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
You can learn more in our detailed article about staying hydrated.
Sugary Drinks and Children: What’s the Harm?
The best drink will always be cool, clear water. It is the most natural, and most beneficial, liquid that a person can drink. That’s true for both kids and adults alike.
Sugary drinks, on the other hand, are often filled with, well, sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. This can lead to a poor diet and health problems. For example, a poor diet can lead to childhood diabetes or other lifelong problems.
To that end, a few months ago a panel of children’s nutrition experts presented some new beverage recommendations. These guidelines were created specifically with the wellbeing of babies and children up to four years of age in mind.
Overall, most children don’t need juice or soda to be healthy. If kids love orange or apple juice, a better solution is to give them some water… and a piece of fruit. It’s the best of both worlds and significantly healthier for them. If you do give them a sugary drink, let it be a rare treat.
Sugary Drinks and Sippy Cups
This might seem a tad controversial, but sippy cups may not be a good idea. This is especially true when it comes to sugary drinks and children.
A little one doesn’t drink from a sippy cup the same way that they would drink from a traditional glass. Over time, sucking on the spout of sippy cup loaded with a sugary drink could potentially lead to tooth decay. The baby’s mouth is just forming, so the beverage could wear away at the enamel on their teeth.
Of course, this is a decision that each family needs to make for themselves. No matter what, after consuming a sugary drink, kids should rinse with water. Then, after about a half hour, it’s important for them to brush their teeth.
Providing Access to Water
Finally, let’s talk about how long a child should be drinking. It is always okay to give a child access to all the water they need. Just be sure to keep it in a safe place in case of spills. Far too many accidents can occur from slipping on water or other liquid. To this end, parents should stay on the alert for spills. According to the CDC, slipping and falling is an all too common cause of injury, for both parents and kids.
Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide on how many sugary drinks their children consume. It’s a personal choice, but not one that should be taken lightly.