Nowadays, it is very common for kids to bring a container of water or bottled water to school. I think this is a great improvement from my school days, when you got three seconds at the drinking fountain after recess. Kids need water to keep their bodies and brains healthy.
Here are a few tips for parents and teachers about bottled water at school
1. It’s fine to buy bottles of water, but bringing your own container can be cheaper and more eco-friendly. Many lunchboxes come with containers for drinks, and kids are starting to use the steel bottles, too. Don’t reuse store-bought plastic bottles over and over.
2. Send in fluoridated water if you can. If your tap water at home is fluoridated, that’s what you should be giving your kids for school. Then you’re helping them have healthy teeth in addition to healthy bodies and brains. Just chill the water in the fridge overnight or use a bottle-sized cold pack.
3. Many parents send kids to school with a frozen bottle of water. DON’T! The ice block is heavy, and has the capacity to be dangerous if it lands on someone’s foot. Plus, the water never melts in time, and the bottles sweat all over everything.
4. Send plain water. Nothing with food coloring is allowed. It’s not great when something like that spills at home, and it’s worse when it spills in the classroom. It’s a huge mess for the custodians, and the carpet might even need shampooing. Plus, the spill creates an extremely fun distracting disturbance that detracts from learning.
5. Send in a clean sock to wrap around the water bottle. This keeps it from sweating all over the desk. Bonus points if you can find a really cute stock instead of just Dad’s old athletic sock (but that will do).
6. Make sure kids know just how disgusting it is to drink from a water bottle that you brought in yesterday or the day before. When I find half-empty store-bought water bottles in the classroom at the end of the day, I dump the water and recycle the bottles. Otherwise, the kids will just keep drinking from them, and that will make them sick. If your child forgets to bring home her reusable water bottle, give her another one for the next day. It’s much safer that way.