High school students are more likely to be exposed to high-risk water sources in the community than their peers, a new study shows.
In fact, high school students were more likely than other students to be in water at home, the study found.
And for those in the water at school, they were twice as likely to have been exposed to an aquatic hazard.
The study, published online this week in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, looked at more than 1,000 children in the Twin Cities and Minnesota communities.
The findings underscore the importance of parents to monitor their children and to be aware of the risks posed by the water in their community, the researchers said.
The study also showed that high schoolers in the communities with the highest levels of water exposure were less likely to attend school in a high-poverty area.
The highest water exposure levels were found in neighborhoods with the poorest educational attainment.
“Our findings highlight the importance for all public health authorities to work to provide a healthy environment for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status,” said study author Dr. Eric R. Stokes, an associate professor of pediatrics and family medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
“We found that water exposure was related to school attendance, which suggests that in addition to increasing parental awareness and concern, additional educational strategies should also be implemented to promote school attendance in low-possession communities.”
Dr. Rene M. Korte, a child and adolescent medicine physician at Children’s Hospital of Minnesota who was not involved in the study, said water exposures are a major factor in the development of obesity and diabetes.
“When we talk about these kids that are obese and diabetic, their bodies are not producing enough glucose to support their metabolism,” he said.
“It’s a chronic disease, and it’s a serious problem.
But it’s also a significant public health problem.”
Dr Rene Kortes said that the focus of prevention should be on parents.
He said there are several strategies parents can use to help children avoid water exposures, such as:Avoiding outdoor activities or recreational activities, like playing in pools, water sports or swimming.
Monitoring the child’s water use and water level and if it is too low or too high.
Keeping the child hydrated by putting water-bottle covers on the child.
Keeping a water bottle in a locked box in the home.
Wearing protective clothing when going swimming.
Dr. Kontes said there is no cure for obesity, but it is possible to lose weight.
He added that water is a great way to burn fat.
“What’s really important is to get kids to take action and to take care of their bodies and their environment and that is really the best way to prevent these kinds of problems,” he added.
Dr Konte said that parents who are concerned about their children’s health should ask their child’s school officials for a water testing kit.