If it seems to parents that the child drinks a lot of water, you need to additionally observe him and find out the reason. It may turn out that this is a benign condition and no action needs to be taken. But, perhaps the reason for the large consumption of water lies in serious health problems.
What is the daily water intake
First, let’s figure out how much water a child needs per day, depending on his age.
From birth to six months
If the baby is breastfed, then he does not need additional water intake. “Artists” of the same age need to be soldered. Since milk formulas, although maximally adapted to breast milk, have a higher density. Therefore, a baby who is bottle-fed may want to drink against the background of a lack of fluid in the body.
Offer water to the baby, if he refuses, then you do not need to insist. It is likely that he is getting enough liquid from formula milk. An exception is situations when the child has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea. Additional fluid may also be needed if the room is hot and dry.
The need for supplementation arises during teething. Often at this time there is a loss of body fluid. Children under 6 months of age can additionally be given 50 to 100 ml of water per day. It is better to give preference to special bottled water for children.
6 months to a year
In the second half of life, the child is included in the diet of solid food. During this period, children must be supplemented. And it does not matter what type of feeding they are on, breastfeeding or artificial. The optimal volume of fluid at this age is from 120 to 200 ml. per day. This also includes juices, compotes. During the hot months, the daily volume of water intake for a child closer to one year of age can be increased to 500 ml. If the baby is thirsty, then you do not need to offer him sweet drinks. They do not quench thirst, but only increase it.
Up to 3 years
For children from one to 3 years, the daily volume of water increases. The rate of fluid intake in children of this age increases to 800 ml. This also includes soup, tea, compotes, juices. Net water consumption – 500 ml.
Up to 7 years
These are already adult children who eat from the common table. Therefore, the daily volume of water increases to 2800 ml. This is along with soups and drinks. Net water intake can range from 700 to 1100 ml per day.
Reasons for increased water intake
The reasons that influence the increased water intake by children can be divided into several groups.
Children of the first year of life consume an increased amount of fluid against the background of the following factors:
Weather. Drinking more water in the heat is considered absolutely normal for children of any age. But this behavior is especially characteristic for babies of the first year of life. In hot weather, there is an increased loss of water in the body. Fluid is expelled from the body through sweat. For the same reason, thirst in children increases after taking a bath against the background of warming up the body in water.
Hot room. This problem is especially acute in winter. Since the air is dried due to the operation of heating devices. Thirst in a child may increase in a dusty environment. Children of the first year of life are sensitive to this factor.
If children 1 to 2 years of age are given sweetened water, their water needs will increase. Since sweet water quenches thirst worse than ordinary water. In addition, if children are taught to drink sweetened water, they will refuse plain water. It will seem to them too “fresh”.
If children at the age of 3 begin to drink water intensively, first of all, you should pay attention to their diet. Perhaps there was a change in the nature of their diet. Often, new products provoke a higher need for water.
The following physiological reasons influence the thirst of children 4-6 years old:
Inclusion in the diet of fried, spicy, smoked, salty, sweet dishes.
Disliked food. It so happened that if a child eats unloved food, then an insufficient amount of saliva is secreted from him. Therefore, in the process of eating, he may well need water to chew and swallow food.
Excessive physical activityduring which a large amount of fluid is excreted from the body. The more active children are, the more they want to drink.
In addition to physiological reasons, a child may want to drink against the background of psychological factors. For children of the first years of life, the following psychological causes of increased thirst are most characteristic:
Formed habit. If a child is given water in a bottle, then he “attaches” to it. In the future, he drinks water from a bottle, not so much to quench his thirst, but to calm down. This is a kind of “addiction”, which can be dealt with by offering him water from a new bright drinker or an unusual mug.
attention deficit. If the mother pays little attention to the child during the day, then he, having asked her to drink, receives his portion of care. This situation is frequent during the period of weaning. The child increases the psychological need for the attention of the mother.
The following psychological causes influence the increased thirst of older children:
stressful situations, which can be caused by tensions in the family, kindergarten. Usually at this time, children go to kindergarten, nursery. They experience stress about this, feel a lack of maternal attention.
Reluctance to go to bed. Often, children try to delay an unwanted moment under various pretexts. Therefore, in the evenings, their desire to drink sharply increases.
If the parents have ruled out the effects of the above causes that have a direct impact on water consumption, then you should visit a doctor to rule out the following diseases:
Diabetes insipidus. This is a rare disease during which the child feels constantly thirsty and excretes a large amount of urine. Even if you reduce fluid intake, he will still urinate in large volumes.
Diabetes. The disease is also manifested by high fluid intake and increased urination. But, in addition, general lethargy, reduced muscle tone, and a sharp increase in appetite join. The child has increased sweating, itching, changes in body weight.
kidney disease. Increased thirst and urination are accompanied by pain in the lumbar region, fever, and swelling.
Liver diseases. This pathology is characterized by a bitter taste in the mouth. Children want to remove it and therefore drink water.
Worm infestation. Increased thirst is accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, itching in the anus.
These causes can occur in children at any age. But, if an infant of the first year of life has an increased thirst, then most likely it occurs against the background of the transition from breast milk to mixtures or complementary foods.
child drinking water at night
If a child asks to drink at night, first of all analyze what food was included in his diet in the evening feeding. Eliminate salty, spicy, fried foods in the evening. Perhaps the reason lies in the habit or lack of attention. The child, waking up at night, thus wants to remind himself. The desire to drink at night can be affected by excessive activity during the day or dry and hot air in the room.
Pediatricians do not recommend frequent watering of the child at night. This habit can harm the child’s body. At night, all systems are in a relaxed state. Excess water is very harmful to the urinary system. The kidneys and bladder will have to work more actively.
Consequences of active water consumption
If increased thirst arose against the background of quite understandable reasons, then there is no reason for concern. Parents will only have to eliminate the cause, and water consumption will return to normal. But, it is important to remember that excessive water intake, as well as insufficient, is harmful to the health of the child. If you drink more than the prescribed norm, then this will negatively affect not only the digestive and urinary systems, but also the body as a whole. Against the background of excess water, the following negative phenomena occur:
metabolic processes are disturbed;
the water-salt balance is lost;
nutrients are washed out.
Against the background of water intoxication of the body, a large amount of sodium is washed out by the kidneys, the deficiency of which is dangerous by an increase in intracranial pressure, cerebral edema. Symptoms of this condition are edema, a decrease in body temperature, fatigue, convulsions. The most dangerous consequences occur in children of the first year of life.
What should parents do
If the child is a “water drink”, then the parents have no choice but to normalize the drinking regimen. First of all, you need to carry out the following analysis:
How long has it been since you started drinking more water?
Is this a permanent phenomenon?
At what time of the day are you most thirsty?
What does the child prefer to drink?
Are there additional symptoms?
If increased thirst is caused by physiological or psychological reasons, then it is necessary to eliminate them.
Normalize the climate in the child’s room, install a humidifier, ventilate the room more often. Normal air temperature is from 18 to 22 degrees, the optimum level of humidity is from 50 to 60%.
Reduce consumption of sugary drinks. To understand whether the child is really thirsty, instead of juice, pour plain water for him. Dilute compotes and juices with water as much as possible.
Adjust your child’s diet. Eliminate all spicy, salty fatty, fried foods.
Normalize the psychological climate, give the baby more attention, protect him from family conflicts, help build relationships with peers.
If the above recommendations do not give the desired result, the only thing left is a visit to the doctor. In order for the doctor to understand the situation, you need to make a calculation of how much fluid enters the child’s body, how much is excreted.
What to look out for
British pediatricians recommend that parents pay attention to the following indicators:
How often does the child go to the toilet?
Thirst. Does increased water quench thirst.
Fatigue. Does the child have causeless drowsiness, weakness.
Weight loss for no apparent reason, increased physical activity.
If parents find at least one sign, you need to take a blood test for sugar and visit a doctor.
What to choose water for children
Children, especially the first three years of life, need to be given special bottled water. It should not contain flavor enhancers, minerals and gases. The child’s body is not able to fully assimilate the minerals that are contained in ordinary water. You can not give water to children from open sources. If parents have made a choice in favor of boiled water, then it should be boiled for at least 10 minutes. Boiling water should not be taken from the tap.
The situation with a large amount of water consumption by children requires parental control. Most often, it is not dangerous for the child’s body. Although it may indicate the presence of some serious pathologies.