Thirsty Students: Access to Drinking Water is Lacking in Public Schools

America's kids are dehydrated and that could be affecting their academic and physical performance.

Feeling a little parched? Next time you take a trip to your office water cooler or sip from your Sigg bottle, think about all the school children who aren't able to drink water during the school day—not even during their lunch period. The result? America's kids are dehydrated, and it could be affecting their academic and physical performance.

According to the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a mere 15 percent of middle school students consume the minimum six to eight glasses of water a day. Part of the new Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 says that clean water must be easily available on campus, but that's usually limited to a few fountains for thousands of students. Some teachers discourage consumption of water and other liquids because they don't want students asking to go to the restroom during class time. Students also often skip drinking from the fountain—lines are sometimes long, it's hard to get a good drink of water when someone's behind you hissing, "Hurry up!" and the unfiltered water might taste or smell bad.

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