Safe Drinking Water: How It Affects Your Child’s Health
Water is one of the basic necessities of life, and an inalienable part of our lives – from the moment we wake up till the moment we sleep. It does not pay to take it for granted.
Nearly 70% of our body weight consists of water – a loss of 2% of body fluids can cause a 20% reduction in our performance in physical and mental activities.
The Fount Of Life
But it goes further than that – apart from sustaining it, water is also part of the very process that creates life. Adequate hydration levels are vital in pregnant women, since water is part of the body’s fluid transportation system.
It ensures the supply of essential nutrients through the blood to the baby, and is a primary component in the creation of the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid, which protects the baby in the womb, needs to be replenished every hour.
Moreover, sufficient water intake can also prevent morning sickness and ensure better bowel movements. This is why doctors recommend that pregnant women drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
Children need sufficient water for smooth growth and development. Boys between the ages of 11 and 14 need to drink 3.3 liters of water a day, while the benchmark for girls in the same age range is 2.8 liters per day.
The Benefits Of H2O:
- Water cleanses the body of toxins
- Water slakes thirst – something no juice or cola can achieve
- Water forms the base for saliva formation
- Water activates the fiber content in food, which in turn helps prevent many diseases such as cancer and diabetes
- Water provides energy and stamina
- Water is an indispensable part of ANY weight loss diet
- Water regulates metabolism
- Water is a natural lubricant for bones and joints
- Water provide relief in digestive conditions such as colitis and constipation, and even in flu or common cold
- Water is a primary line of defense against acne, thyroid problems, kidney disorders and varicose veins
- Water helps replace the oxygen depleted during allergies and lung disorders like asthma and emphysema
- Water helps in the growth and development of gums and teeth
- Water helps regulate body temperature
Take A Sip Of Reality
Unfortunately, we do not pay sufficient attention to the correct quality and quantity of drinking water in our hectic everyday lives. The quality (read, purity) is of paramount importance in a country like India, especially considering the fact that most tourists to India fall sick thanks to water-borne impurities and contaminants.
Are you on top of the situation at home? Is your family safe from water-borne diseases? Most homes either rely on the municipal tap water or water from bore wells.
Whether water is ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, it contains bacteria and additives – not to mention various sediments and pollutants. It goes without saying that we need to treat and purify our water before we drink it.
Currently, the most commonly used method of rendering water potable is via a water filter or alum. However, these methods only address superficial sediments and do not take care of the germs, bacteria and pollutants – these remain in the water even after filtration.
Drinking Water Filtration Systems
There is a whole range of specialized filtration products available on the market that claim to remove these pollutants from drinking water. They employ different means such as carbon filters, ultraviolet light and reverse osmosis. Let us take a quick look at what these methods involve:
• Carbon Filters:
Carbon absorbs chemicals and pollutants such as chlorine, pesticides, herbicides and industrial solvents from water. It also helps control the growth of various bacteria and improves the taste and odor of water.
• Ultraviolet Light:
Ultraviolet light is known to kill several microorganisms. Sometimes, this process is used as an alternative to chlorine and similar chemical disinfectants. However, UV light cannot destroy certain hard-shelled particles such as cysts.
• Reverse Osmosis:
In this method, water is passed through a semi-permeable membrane that prevents any molecules larger than the water molecules from passing through it.
This method effectively filters out dissolved solids in water and prevents several pesticides, inorganic components and minerals from passing through. It also helps improve the odor, taste and appearance of water.
Water filters incorporating at least two of these processes are an essential part of every household. It is axiomatic that we must employ modern technology to combat the polluting byproducts of modern life – traditional methods of water filtration and purification will no longer cut it.
We read of typhoid, gastroenteritis and even cholera outbreaks almost every week in India. It would be unwise to assume that our families, who depend on municipal water supply just like everyone else, are somehow immune to them.
© Madhavi Ghare
This article may be reprinted with the author copyright and a live link back to http://www.lovingyourchild.com
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