Children need hydration just as they need healthy foods, lots of sleep, fresh air, play, and relaxation. In the current state of things, however, with American tap water under scrutiny, giving young kids tap water is a health risk. Since nobody wants to relieve the Flint water crisis, and no parent would expose a child to the bacteria teeming in our water, families across the nation are taking protective measures.
Is Tap Water Safe for Children?
If you listen carefully to the E.P.A. and C.D.C., you will soon learn that, as a parent, you should have reasons for concern. Even if it goes through a municipal treatment system, city tap water may still contain E. coli, giardia, cryptosporidium, other coliform bacteria, viruses, and a few varieties of hepatitis.
Children need plenty of water to thrive and preserve their health, as juices and milk won’t cut it. However, giving them boiled water is not a practical solution, as boiling does not remove all bacteria and contaminants in water. Moreover, buying plastic bottled water for the entire family is extremely expensive, not to mention dangerous for the environment.
Luckily, for all of us, we have plenty of technical solutions to preserve our drinking water safe and healthy for kids and our entire families.
Alkaline Water Machines
While the jury is still out on the full benefits of drinking alkaline water, we have studies showing that alkaline water is beneficial for those suffering from acid reflux. A 2012 study found that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 might help deactivate pepsin, the primary enzyme that causes acid reflux and, subsequently, gastroesophageal reflux disease. The prevalence of GERD in babies and children is of concern for parents all over the world.
Science agrees that we need more studies when it comes to alkaline water. Still, we have increasing evidence that it comes with benefits for people dealing with diabetes, some cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, or cholesterol. Moreover, according to Water Filter Advisor, the devices making alkaline water also filter it from impurities, sediment, and contaminants. Most modern alkaline filter systems feature activated charcoal filtration technology, which is one of your best weapons against tap water pollutants and toxins.
U.V. Water Filters
Giardia and cryptosporidium are the most common waterborne pathogens in our drinking water. Their prevalence is staggering, and their effects can be lethal. Besides these two microorganisms, the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. also warn about the presence of hepatitis, salmonella, fungi, helminths, and protozoa in our drinking water.
How can you keep a child healthy and safe from acute gastroenteritis and other waterborne diseases when they dwell in our benign tap water? The answer is U.V. filtration.
Approved by the F.D.A., U.V. filters can kill microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, and other microbes by attacking their D.N.A. In contact with the U.V. light, these cells cannot reproduce and spread diseases any longer.
The downside of U.V. filters is that they don’t remove other dangerous contaminants in tap water, such as heavy metals, chemicals, toxins, pesticides, etc. For this reason, the best use of U.V. filters is in conjunction with the following water technology on this list.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
Reverse osmosis is probably one of the best and most comprehensive types of water filtration. Such systems push the water through a permeate membrane. The system separates the clean water going through the filtering screen from the contaminated water that does not get through the filters.
Is reverse osmosis filtered water safe for children?
It is, but with some limitations. Reverse osmosis can remove 99.99% of water pollutants and contaminants. However, it also strips the water from its beneficial elements (minerals like calcium and magnesium), leaving it flat and lacking any nutritional value.
For this reason, modern reverse osmosis systems also feature a re-mineralization stage. They put back the minerals into the water with balanced and healthy quantities. Now, you can safely give this water to your children, as it is clean of impurities but rich in minerals.
R.O. filter systems spare you the trouble and the expenses of buying mineral bottled water ever again. The benefit of R.O. technology is that it is versatile. You can opt for large filtration systems for your entire house, for under-sink filters, for the countertop, or even pitcher filters to meet your needs.
As we said, boiling does not solve all the water pathogen problems. However, distillation does. Distilled water is safe for children if you introduce it progressively in their diets. Modern water distillers look like coffee machines and blend in all kitchen designs. One of their problems is that they make the water taste flat, as they remove quite a handful of bacteria, contaminants, toxins, and pollutants, together with some water minerals.
However, distilled water is one way to sterilize the water in your home, mainly if you tested it, and its levels of impurities or pathogens are worrying you. If you happen to rely on well water, you should mix more types of water filtration.
Keeping Water Safe for Our Children
In a world trying to deal with plenty of health threats, keeping our children safe is a priority. Even if you live in a place with clean water, you should consider modern technologies, equipment, and machines to filter tap water, especially when you give it to children. Exposing them to bacteria, viruses, and contaminants is a nightmare for all parents. Luckily, in this day and age, safeguarding the health of our families has never been easier.