Jen's Journal

Follow along while I lose my mind.

I'm pleased to say that my children will/attend a fairly health conscious school.

They are provided with two (relatively) healthy meals a day.- Some, including mine, free of charge.

They are allowed to bring a (healthy) snack for each afternoon and most teachers provide snacks to the children who either (a) forget theirs or (b) parents simply don't care enough to provide one.

They have Physical Education twice a week and a recess every day that the weather is good.

I believe, but am not certain, that the preschool program includes a nap time each day.

My question is: Where's the water?

You know, the 'high quality H2O.'

I know that my sons get a boxed milk/juice with breakfast and again at lunch. I know that they get as much as 20 ounces at snack time but is that really enough for them throughout the day?- And in our case, it IS throughout the day. My boys get ON the bus at 6:45am and OFF the bus at 4:45pm. Do your math: ten hours.

I'm not a doctor or a professional of any sort so my question is... is that really enough to keep these kids hydrated?

We live in the South. It gets HOT here. These kids are having PE twice weekly and recess every day that the weather is good... And it doesn't rain much around here. So I want to know... are they getting enough fluids?

I can remember being a kid, growing up in South Florida... I can remember running LAPS around the field during PE... And I can remember lining up at the water fountain afterwards and the teacher counting to ten.- That was how long you got to drink. Less than ten seconds. There was no going back to the end of the line. There was no going over your allotted time. And you know what? I was still SO THIRSTY.

I wonder if it occurred to those teachers then that it's not just about a child's comfort... Which we all know that it's uncomfortable to be thirsty... It's about a child's health.

I've been considering my options.

I know if I bring this to the school, they'll tell me that there are water fountains installed in each class room (there are) and that the children can ask to get a drink at any given point. But let's face it, we know our kids and we know their teachers. If the kids are playing, involved somehow, they're not likely to stop and think, "Maybe I need to drink some water." And if the teachers are teaching, certainly involved, they're not likely to stop what they're doing when first one and then nineteen other children ask to be allowed to visit the 'installed water fountains.'

My suggestion is that children be allowed to have water breaks.- That they be allowed to carry those aluminum water bottles you see everywhere. That there should be one between breakfast and lunch and then between lunch and snack. This may be after PE or recess but not necessarily. Chances are this will lead to an rise in bathroom breaks as well but is that such a bad thing? Our kids are drinking more water so they have to pee more?

It just seems to me that two little boxes of milk and however much water they can drink in a ten minute snack time... isn't enough for a ten hour period.

I'm not sure why anyone would bash this post... But it seems like someone ALWAYS has to say something negative... Maybe like I should homeschool my kids if I want to make sure they're properly hydrated? Don't you want YOUR kids to be healthy? A full night's rest, good, healthy, food in their tummies, exercise daily? Doesn't it include making sure they drink sufficient amounts of water? (Not juice, not milk, but water?)

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Nov. 30, 2010 at 8:16 AM

You make a good point!! We never had water in school.  Ever.  It was milk and juice.  To this day, I don't drink water as much as I should.  I'll blame the school (lol) - not seriously - but it kind of makes sense.  Once I was in high school, we were allowed to carry around water bottles.  (I'm only using myself as an example because my kids aren't in school yet.)

I would take my concerns to the school board.  They're the ones that make the changes.  Have you ever been to a meeting?  I believe they're public.  It's worth a try.  :-)

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Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Lol you're right, Jen, someone out there will probably find something to bash - but we know they're crazy, so don't pay them any attention.

As for the water - well, good luck. This is one battle I have personally chosen not to fight. I have also noticed that kids don't get what I would call enough water at school. The only time I have been fully in charge of my own group of kids all day long - in a summer program I taught for a few years - I made sure the kids got plenty of water, and I dealt with the minor inconvenience of kids having to pee a little more often. Of course that also incidentally meant they were healthier - it is healthy to pee more than a couple times a day! Anyway, I made sure everyone had a water bottle on their desk, all day long.

As for now - well, I do make sure any child entering my classroom washes her hands with soap and water. This is a luxury they are not allotted in the rest of the school - our administration has decided that the benefits of soap and water do not outweigh the disadvantage presented by messy bathrooms, so the soap has been removed from all student bathrooms and teachers instead stand in the hall squirting grubby little hands with hand sanitizer (don't even get me started!!!). Also a health issue, imnsho.

ANYWAY. The water. Yeah. In my experience, teachers won't go for it, because of the bathroom inconvenience, and because they just don't care much. Can you get the boys to drink water on the bus somehow?

Otherwise, yeah, try to school board, and I would say, prepare for a long slow road to progress. And good luck to you - and let me know if I can vote on something or write a letter of support! I'm behind you all the way! ...just not optimistic... :o(

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Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:35 AM

You may have luck with this. My son is in Kindergarten and they do have water breaks (to use the water fountain) a couple times a day, in addition to breakfast or lunch.

A few weeks ago, they started having them bring in water bottles (the metal kind) and they can use those during the day, and bring them home to wash on weekiends. I don't know if they have certain times to use them or if they can have them on their desks all the time.

I think it's great! But it didn't start on day 1. It started after a month or 2 of school.  Because someone suggested it.

If you are having trouble, see if you can suggest that the school sell the bottles at a profit of a few dollars. Schools are always looking to make money, so that's a win-win situation and they are more likely to agree. Good luck!

(I love water myself)

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 8:22 AM

My kids' school allows them to have water bottles. Heck, some of the teachers even go out and buy them water bottles at the beginning of the year for their class. From Preschool to 6th grade. For the "high school", they are allowed to take water with them from class to class. Two places they are not "allowed" to have water bottles are in the computer/ICN rooms and Shop Class...

They also get 3 recesses up til grade 6. morning noon and afternoon. Provided a snack/milk break like I use too "back in the day". PE 3times a week. Nap time in Kindergarten, not preschool cuz they are there for only 4hrs a day 4times a week. All meals are basically "homemade". LOVE our cooks in the district!! They will bring in their OWN recipies to make. We are talking like Great Grandma recipies etc...

They offer chef salads to the students from 7th grade up to 12th grade for the ones that choose not to eat what is on the menu. Each Grade gets to choose their "own" menu for a day, as in the get to pick what is for dinner. They even have alternatives for the students with health issues, diabetic, glutein free, provide soy milk and if there is a "nut/fish allergy" they will make that students meal in safe conditions.

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 9:17 AM

this has crossed my mind many times, my children are CONSTANTLY asking for something to drink. On fields day every child recieved their own water bottle, except pre k. well prek didn't technically do field day. They got to go get a snow cone after it was over. but , guess who threw up that snow cone and was sick for the rest of the evening? my pre ker! I am convinced he had a mild case of heat exaustion, from lack of dehydration. This yr in Kindergarten they are allowed to bring a snack/drink during recess, but they have cut recess down to 15 mins this yr and they are to eat/drink their snack during those 15 mins! didn't take but a week for my child to say he no longer wanted a snack. and he gets in the car thirsty everyday. I try to have something, but some days I don't. I don't think they put enough thought into hydration = better REALLY does!

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 10:13 AM

At Wyatts School they have water at snack time and his teacher this year lets them keep their water bottles with them. They can refil at the sink in the room. And they may drink when ever they are thirsty. I really was glad to hear this when this year started as Wyatt gets dry when on his Asthma meds. and it also helps in keeping his kidneys flushed from all the meds.

The other years they were allowed water at snack and they drank from the fountain in between that was in the room.

I guess having a teacher who also has asthma and feels it only fair if she can drink water when ever they should also be allowed the same right.


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Dec. 1, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I grew up in the south, SC to be exact and we never had water in school. We had water fountains in the hallway, but were only allowed to drink from them at certain times, like recess and lunchtime. I'm guessing the reason why we weren't allowed unlimited access to the water fountain or water during class was because we would have constantly been in the bathroom.

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 10:50 AM

At my kids school, they are allowed to keep a non-spillable container right on their desks so they can have a drink of water any time the feel the need.

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 11:13 AM

My oldest just started kindergarten.  She is allowed to stop at the water fountain outside the class as they come & go. 

I got her this great cup at Target for like $9 - it is OXO brand; and is like an adult non-spill travel mug that has an easy push button on the lid that 'opens & closes' the valve inside.

They also have recess every day the weather is nice; and PE twice a week most weeks.  The parents supply the snack (rotating one child/day); I try to make sure we take something healther crackers, cheese; fruit; etc but some parents bring cookies or cupcakes - in fact we ARE taking Christmas cookies this month on our day and I expect many others will as well.

Back to the drink; lol - she is allowed to take her drink cup from her lunch box out after recess and drink that in class; the only thing was the teacher asked for those cups to contain water not juice so if some one spills it's not a sticky mess in class.  But this usually takes place at the end or near the end of the day.  They don't have the cup all day long...

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Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I know when I was teaching school I didn't like the idea of having water bottles on the desk...I  hated to see the kids leave the classroom when I was teaching a concept...However, I did not mind too much if they were in practice mode (and of course emergencies!!!)

But you I wish I had...No one has mentioned it...but besides being healthy ...It stimulates the brain...There was even a workshop held on it and some of the more progressive schools in the district adopted the policy schoolwide....

I think there might have been some problems with excessive bathroom trips...but I believe it eventually worked out....

We did have three major breaks plus breakfast and lunch....I don't feel SO guilty..I pretty much let them have as much as they wanted, also.

I too, live in a very hot state and homeschool my Down Syndrome daughter...She is soo healthy and my skin age 57....:)   I too feel pretty terrific  most of the time...and drinking water just adds to it....

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