With most schools opening up for in-person learning, kids will be able to get a sense of normalcy back into their lives. But while both kids and parents are looking forward to this milestone, that means your child will no longer be under your watchful eye. Sure, they have teachers and peers to help keep them in check, but when it comes to making sure they stay happy, healthy and hydrated, no one can do it like you. But with some help from Stanley, parents don’t have to worry about their child’s water intake when they’re back at school. In fact, choosing a Stanley accessory with your child could even be a fun way to get them excited for back-to-school and help relieve some of the stress parents face when it comes to back-to-school shopping. After all, they already have enough on their plates. “Parents have so many things to stay on top of during back-to-school season, it’s hard to say where to put hydration on the list,” says Dr. Kelly Fradin, a pediatrician in New York City. But it should definitely be a top priority considering how crucial it is.
“Hydration can help improve your health by improving constipation and preventing nosebleeds,” says Dr. Fradin. “Children often become constipated when in a school setting, partly for behavior reasons as they are withholding or more sedentary, but drinking adequate fluids can help prevent it. Children who get frequent nosebleeds, especially in dry air over the winter, will have fewer if we are able to encourage them to sip on water throughout the day. Our hydration also probably helps improve the integrity of the fragile membranes in our nose and throat, which is our main defense against getting sick.” To help your child stay hydrated and practice good hygiene to help prevent them from getting sick, here are some ways you can ensure your child is drinking enough during the school year.
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Equip them with the right accessories
No matter where you are or what you do, staying hydrated is crucial to you and your child’s overall health. To help make sure they have access at all times — without sharing water bottles with other kids or drinking from a shared water fountain during the school day — give them a reusable water bottle designed by Stanley. Stanley hydration gear is great for children of all ages and come in a variety of bright colors and styles. Personally, the Stanley 30-ounce IceFlow™ Flip Straw Tumbler is one of my go-to favorites. It has a built-in flip straw and double-wall vacuum insulation that will keep any drink fully leakproof and extra cold for hours. Plus, Stanley tumblers are made in part using recycled plastics made from discarded fishing nets, sparing our waters from plastic waste.
“Water bottles are important for kids when they are on the go,” says Dr. Fradin. “When selecting a bottle for your child, ideally you should pick one that has a straw, hard spout or open lid to sip since that’s better for dental alignment.” The 20-ounce Stanley IceFlow™ Flip Straw Tumbler fits this criteria. This tumbler includes a built-in straw, double-wall vacuum insulation and a convenient handle for carrying.
For parents looking for a bottle option that’s stainless steel, sustainable and includes a built-in straw, Stanley offers the 17-ounce IceFlow™ Flip Straw Water Bottle. It’s leakproof and includes a convenient handle for your child to use so they can carry it to class, an after-school activity or sports practice. And because the water bottle is smaller, this could be a good option for younger kids with smaller hands.
Help them build hydration habits
“At every meal, a parent should encourage [their child] to drink water,” says Dr. Fradin. “It’s wonderful if you can even find a way to empower your child to get their own water. It’s a great first chore and can reinforce a child’s independence and self-esteem.” One way parents can enforce this is by purchasing their child a cute and convenient water bottle. The Stanley 22-ounce IceFlow™ Flip Straw Water Bottle is a great option as it comes with a built-in straw, fits in the side of most backpacks and is leakproof so even if your child has a full water bottle, it won’t leak in their backpack.
Don’t stress about it
Because you won’t be able to watch your child during the school day, you may be tempted to have them drink a certain amount before they head off to school. But as Dr. Fradin notes, it’s unnecessary for parents to worry about a specific amount when it comes to their child’s hydration needs. “I don’t think it’s helpful for parents to focus on a minimum amount,” says Dr. Fradin. “Similar to how parents offer food, my mantra is ‘you provide, they decide.’ If your child is well and not drinking much, I wouldn’t worry. It could be that they are eating food with more water such as fruit.”
However, if your child suffers from muscle cramps, headaches at the end of the day or constipation, parents may need to pay a little more attention to how they are presenting the water. Getting them a fun, brightly colored water bottle they can take to school such as the Stanley Quick Flip GO Bottle may help. “I find that the right temperature or the right container can make a huge difference in how much water a child drinks,” says Dr. Fradin.
Another option for parents looking for a suitable water bottle for their child is the Stanley IceFlow™ Flip Straw Jug. This is a great choice because it fits a lot of water (40 ounces), so it’s great for all-day hydration (it keeps drinks cold for hours) and for kids who have sports practice after school. It can easily be carried around thanks to its convenient handle, which includes a built-in fence hook for hanging the Jug directly on the fence during soccer or tennis practice when not in use. Plus, when your child uses it, they’ll also be doing their part to help the planet. Stanley jugs are designed in part using recycled plastics made from discarded fishing nets. Stanley prevents nearly 100 pounds of waste from entering our waters per every 1,000 IceFlow™ Jugs manufactured.
Lean on teachers for support
Since your child will now be spending most of their time with their teacher, it’s completely acceptable to use them as a resource to gauge if they’re not drinking enough. This could also be an opportunity for teachers to explain the importance of hydration, remind your child to take water breaks during the day, and educate them about some of the symptoms associated with dehydration.
Offer them water alternatives
If you’re already having a hard time getting your child to drink water when they’re home with you all day, then try adding some variety into the mix. “You can offer sparkling water or flavored waters without sugar such as Hint Water,” says Dr. Fradin. “Milk can also be a healthy choice a few times a day. Most other juices and sodas contain a lot of added sugar, which can be incorporated once in a while, but is best avoided day-to-day as this can fill a child up without providing nutrition. When a child eats a piece of fruit they benefit from the fiber, which is often not present in the same fruit when it’s juiced.”
If you decide to use all of the above methods to make sure your child stays hydrated for back to school, then don’t forget to choose a water bottle that checks all the boxes: reusable, sustainable and beautiful hydration gear that even your kids will love. As Dr. Fradin said, the right container can make a huge difference in determining how much your child drinks. Be sure to get them a bottle, tumbler or jug that gets the job done and one that can help them stay healthy and hydrated throughout the school year.
This article was created by SheKnows for Stanley.