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Water is one of the body’s most essential nutrients. Humans cannot live without water for many days. Water is the best drink for children and parents should constantly encourage their children to drink enough water according to their age. 

How much water does a child need to drink?

Children’s bodies contain a larger amount of water than an adult. That is why children are more vulnerable to dehydration than adults. The smaller the baby, the more water his body contains. In newborns and infants, water is 75% of their total body weight, while in adults it is about 60% of their total weight. 

For the above reason it is more important for children to drink water throughout the day.

The daily amount of water that children need is the following: 


Newborns and small babies: 150ml water per kg.

Children <10 kg: 100 ml per kg

Children> 10 kg: 100ml per kg for the first 10 kg and then 50 ml per kg. That is about 60 - 90 ml of water per kg per day.

The daily amount of water that children need depends on factors such as age, weight and sex but also on their level of physical activity and environmental conditions (for example when it’s hot their needs increase). 

It is therefore recommended that children consume water as follows: At the age of 2 to consume about 1.3 litres per day, with a gradual increase until the age of 17, where 2.2 to 2.5 litres of water per day are recommended as in adults. 

In case of exercise or increased temperatures then the following are recommended: 


Give the child a glass of water before exercise.

It is important to drink a small amount of water every 15 minutes during exercise.

Give the child at least one glass of water after exercise.

So why is water necessary for the human body?

Water is the basic component of the human body. Some of the body fluids are: 


The blood which carries nutrients to all organs of the human body.

Stomach fluids. They contribute to the digestion of food. Without digestion, our bodies can’t absorb nutrients from food.

Water is an important component of urine, from which the body takes out useless substances from the body. In this way it rinses the body from useless or toxic substances.

Sweat helps maintain the right body temperature. Without sweat our bodies would not be able to regulate their temperature when we exercise for example.

Just as machines need oil and lubricants to work well, our bodies use water the same way:  


Parts of our body bend because we have different joints (eg knee joint, elbow). The joints of our body have a special fluid in between, the synovial fluid to be protected due to their constant friction.

Water is the main component of mucus found on the surface of several organs (nose, eyes, mouth, etc.). Our eyes open and close because they are wet.

Water is vital and the most important nutrient to keep us healthy!

Authored by Dr. Adamos Hadjipanayi, Paediatrician