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How H2O Helps Kids from Head to Toe

“Head, shoulders, knees and toes — knees and toes!” We all know this classic singalong about pointing to our head down to our toes. While this catchy tune teaches little ones about parts of the human body, it also can serve as a helpful reminder to parents.

Proper hydration is vital for people of all ages, especially kids. Unfortunately, WebMD reports that one in five children in the United States does not drink a drop of water on any given day1. This is a staggering statistic that identifies the need for H2O health for kids.

Grab a glass of water, and let’s discuss why it’s vital for your child — from head and shoulders to knees and toes.

Head: Learning

Even mild dehydration has been shown to cause irritability or drowsiness in children2 — which can negatively affect learning. Help set your children up for success by removing an unnecessary barrier to their education.

Tip: Make water the drink of choice at every meal and include an extra water bottle in their backpack to sip throughout the day.

Shoulders: Growing

Your child is changing every day — getting taller, smarter and older. Water helps carry nutrients and oxygen to all of the body’s cells, making sure children of all ages get what they need to stay healthy and strong.

Tip: Check this chart for the suggested amount of water a child should drink each day3.

Age Range Gender Total Water (Cups/Day)
4 to 8 years Girls and Boys 7
9 to 13 years Girls 9
Boys 10
14 to 18 years Girls 10
Boys 14

Knees: Playing

Summertime means baseball games, trips to the park and plenty of time running around in the backyard. As the sun heats up, a child’s body needs to cool down. Proper hydration allows your kids to sweat enough to stay comfortable and prevent overheating.

Tip: Set a timer to remind your children to take a water break every 45 minutes of outside play.

Toes: Balancing

Helping your child maintain a healthy, balanced diet is essential for their growth and development. The key to that strategy is ensuring they drink enough water and do not consume added sugar through sports drinks and juice.

Tip: Try infused water combinations, like raspberries with lime or cucumber with mint, to keep things flavorful and healthy.

So the next time your kids start to sing that familiar tune, let it remind your family to stay hydrated because H2O is important for each of you from head to toe.

At GuideStone®, we prioritize physical health for your kids but also your personal well-being. Find out more information at our Wellness Hub about how to integrate wellness into your home and your ministry.


1 WebMD, 2019
2 Kids Health
3 Eat Right, 2021

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