Ensure your children drink more water — Expert advises parents

Dr Safiya Ojo, General Practitioner, Wuse General Hospital, Abuja, has advised parents to ensure their children and wards drink more water instead of carbonated drinks to avoid dehydration.

She gave the advice on Friday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

She said that dehydration is loss of body fluids mostly water.

She added that dehydration occurs when our cells and body lose more water than what we take in by drinking water.

“We lose water every day in the form of water vapour, in the breath we exhale and in our excreted sweat, urine, and stool.”

“Along with the water, small amounts of salt are also lost.”

“If a child is vomiting and excreting watery stool and not able to drink water, that child can lose fluids quickly and become very sick.”

“When we lose too much water, our bodies may be out of balance or dehydrated; severe dehydration can lead to death,” Ojo said.

According to Ojo, mild to moderate dehydration can happen easily in young children particularly if the child has diarrhea or is vomiting.

She listed the symptoms of dehydration to include dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, decrease in urine output, no urine for 8 to 12 hours, or dark-coloured urine, drowsiness or irritability.

Others she said added, include cold or dry skin, low energy levels, seeming very weak or limp, no tears when crying and sunken eyes.
Ojo said: “drinking adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion.”

“Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 per cent water, depending on body size.”

“Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits.”

“As an added plus, water has no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sugar,”

The medical practitioner explained that the amount of water an individual consume everyday plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body.

She said that experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day to maintain good health.

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