Parents often times make it a point to stress the importance of drinking water in order to stay in good health. However, when on his or her own at school, in camps or in any place away from home, will a child know if the water he or she is about to drink, is safe?
It is important therefore to give children, at least some basic guidelines on what to drink or not to drink.
Safety Pointers that Children Must Know When Drinking Water
Most adults know that for a drinking water to be safe, it must not contain metals, chemicals, bacteria, fluoride, chlorine and other similar contaminants. When on their own, children do not have an inkling how to know about those..
The best way therefore is to orient them about the sources of safe and unsafe drinking water, in addition to explaining what makes a source safe or unsafe.
- Let your children know that schools in the US are required to provide clean and safe drinking water. Water must be derived from protected sources such as piped water, dug wells, tubewells, or by way of commercially delivered purified water.
- As part of their knowledge, make them aware that a water source is not protected if it shows signs of leakages. In most cases, contaminants coming from wastes have potential to enter through a pipe breach.
- Tell children not to drink from the protected water source if there is flooding in the area. As parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with safe drinking water that they can bring to school. Do this until you have ascertained that school administrators have had water coming out from protected sources, checked and tested as free from contaminants.
- When eating in malls or fast food outlets, advise them not to drink water provided by the establishment. Even if water comes from a protected source, or even if purified water is served, they might drink from tumblers that have not been properly washed, or stored protected from crawling insects. To satisfy thirst, it would be better to buy bottled drinking water to stay safe.
- Children often spend their vacation outdoors, usually swimming with friends in community lakes, or in a friend’s private swimming pool. Instill in your children the importance of not taking chances in dirty bodies of water or in swimming pools that have not been cleaned and treated. Contaminated water entering through any body openings will allow microorganisms to invade their body. The important microorganism to avoid is e.coli, because having them in one’s bloodstream can result to severe health disorders.
In time, as your children get older, they will have learned how to determine if the water they are about to drink is safe or not.