In recent times, many people in the United States have become aware of the challenges surrounding lead in schools. Most importantly awareness has piqued around the lead concentration in school water supplies that our children drink from, use to wash their hands and much more. According to a recent article written by Maggie Fox of NBC News, more than forty percent of schools that participated in lead testing found one or more water samples that were above recommended lead concentration levels. This means that millions of American children are exposed to lead at unsafe levels each day when they are at school.
The challenge we face is that there are no strict policies for lead testing across the United States. There is certainly more awareness around the lead issues that exist in our aging infrastructure. Now we need to act to find resolutions. When it comes to schools, many with known lead or other water issues are implementing solutions to provide safer water for students. However, according to Maggie Fox’s article, the Government Accountability Office found that nearly 41 percent of school districts in the United States have not tested their water supplies for lead within the last year. Many children across the United States could be exposed to lead and other contaminants and the schools are unaware of whether they do or do not have lead levels above the recommended threshold.
As we know, there are always going to be hurdles when it comes to implementing nationwide and even statewide policies for testing in schools. Rather than sit back and wait, let’s look for alternative solutions. First and foremost, take a moment to understand the risk factors. This guide from the EPA does an excellent job laying out the possible problem areas that exist in schools and other facilities. At Kinetico Incorporated, we engineer industry-leading reverse osmosis systems that significantly reduce lead and other contaminants in water. We suggest that schools look for water treatment options like reverse osmosis to prevent their students from exposure. According to the CDC, reverse osmosis systems will use a 0.0001-micron filter. Filters with this pore size effectively reject 94-96 percent of lead. Sure there are costs involved when investing in new resources, but no price can be put on the health of our children.
If your child(ren)’s school has not had its water tested for lead and other substances, encourage testing by our KarSare water professionals. If their school has been tested for lead and other contaminants, ask questions to learn if there were any concerns. If lead or other substances were found at elevated levels, ask what the school’s water treatment plans are. There are many available solutions that can be implemented quickly to provide your children and all the other students with safe, great-tasting drinking water.
Kinetico water systems provides reverse osmosis drinking water systems like the K5 Drinking Water Station and the AquaKinetic A200. Reverse osmosis units like these can significantly reduce lead in water providing water that is safe for drinking.
Pack Kinetico Treated Water for your School-Age Children
Pack Smaller-Sized Water Bottles: Smaller reusable water bottles are much easier for kids to hold and drink from. Packing a 10 oz bottle of water in their lunch bag instead of larger 20 oz or liter reusable bottles is a convenient way to keep your children happy and hydrated. Give them a friendly reminder to bring the bottle home to be cleaned and refilled each evening.
Make sure they LOVE their re-usable water bottle: Re-usable water bottles come in all kinds of colours and patterns. Some are made as merchandise from tv or movies, so if your child loves a specific cartoon or superhero, this is a no-brainer. Your child will be much more motivated to drink, if they like (or love) the bottle they’re drinking from. If you can, make sure their bottle is stainless steel or aluminum.
Make their bottle accessible: If you tend to put your child’s bottle or thermos in their lunch bag, this could be detrimental to their hydration. Teachers only allow lunch bags to come out during snack or lunch breaks. If your child forgets to take out their bottle, they will likely only drink during breaks. A better solution is to get your child a backpack with a water bottle pocket on the exterior of the bag. This way, the bottle will be visible. It will serve as a reminder to drink, and also be easy to reach. In addition, make sure you’re verbally reminding your child to drink throughout their day.
Talk to their teacher: Ask your child’s teacher that your child needs repeated hydration during the day, which will also mean repeated bathroom breaks. If their teacher isn’t flexible with bathroom breaks, you may want to stress the importance of hydration and focus. If your teacher is cooperative, ask their teacher to keep an eye on their drinking habits and encourage them from time to time.
Give them water they LOVE and tastes good: Buy a fun styled water bottle that will guarantee to keep the water cold for hours during the school day. And be sure that you’re giving your child water that tastes good. Experience a well-hydrated life with Kinetico water, water that’s freed of both natural and man-made issues. Water that tastes better and your kids will enjoy drinking.