Is Water Too Cool for School?

Cooleraid • 01/11/2017

It’s not uncommon for school children to go without a drink all day while they’re at school. As we know, dehydration can cause all manner of health issues, so surely it’s in the School’s interest to provide adequate drinking facilities to all school children? As children’s drinking habits tend to show that plain water is perceived by them as a poor alternative to soft or fizzy drinks, providing access to drinking water could mean that school is the only place they will consume plain water. It’s our duty of care to teach our children good drinking habits, but having school back them up is pivotal.

Unfortunately, a lot of educational institutions still site their water fountains and drinking water taps near to toilet facilities. These fountains can become dirty and contaminated with bugs and germs (and are often poorly maintained) because of their proximity to the loos. They can seem unappealing, so even though there is provision, they may not be utilised. Access to clean, fresh drinking water is a right, not a luxury. We wouldn’t eat our lunch in the toilets, would we? So why would we want to drink there? It also stands to reason that the toilet facilities within schools should be kept hygienically clean. Dirty facilities could put children off using them, and they may well decide that if they don’t drink, then they’ll not need to use the toilets.

With children’s fluid intake requirements being proportionately higher than that of adults (on average 1.5ml of water per k/cal of food as opposed to 1ml of water per k/cal for adults) water should be readily available to children all through the school day, and not just at break times. Thankfully, many schools now issue pupils with their own water bottle, which can be filled from a water cooler, sipped and kept on the desk throughout lessons. A well hydrated body and brain will help with concentration and attention span, and behaviour should be notably improved.

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