Dehydration – hidden problem among children and youths

Proper hydration is extremely important for the right functioning of the body. Mainly those sports people who prefer long distance disciplines, such as running in marathons, are aware of this issue. Fashion for “intensive hydration”, i.e. taking a bottle of water and drinking it almost all the time, can be also observed among people who do regular sports. Unfortunately, children and youths seem to forget about the necessity of supplying proper amount of water to the body. Research published recently shows, that the problem of dehydration may concern vast majority of the youngest part of population.

Interesting study

Until recently, nobody was really interested in the level of hydration of children and youths. As a result, there wasn’t enough knowledge needed to start considering such problem. The situation changed after publishing the results of study done by a group of scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The authors of the project decided to analyse data from the years 2009-2012 concerning over 4,000 young people at the age of 6 to 19. The reference point was the specific gravity of urine (which is the exponent of the relative density). What did they find out?

Sad statistics

After thorough analysis of data, the authors of the study revealed that dehydration is a very common problem among children and youths, whereas, it concerns boys much more often than girls (the difference reached 75%). More than a half of the examined people were not hydrated properly! This result could be also connected with the fact that vast majority of the participants of the study did not drink water at all. The analysis concerned the citizens of the USA, however, I can risk saying that such problem also occurs in other countries. It is highly possible, as there isn’t much information about taking care of hydrating children and youths. Whereas, the negative consequences of too low fluid supply can be very serious.

What happens inside the body when it’s badly hydrated?

The aspects connected with the negative consequences of dehydration are often considered in relation to the physical efficiency. However, in reality, there are many other adverse effects of too low fluid consumption than just lower efficiency abilities. Apart from the ailments, such as headache, dryness in the mouth, impairment, muscle contractions or sleepiness, there are many others that can be observed, e.g. problems with concentration, memory or the ability to associate facts, which obviously interfere the results of education! The matter of hydration is very important, however, it is often neglected!

Conclusions

Parents should take care of proper hydration of their children, and youths should show some independence in that field. The matter of proper fluid supply is extremely important for the physical and mental condition.