Understanding & Responding to Lead in School Drinking Water
National Healthy Schools Day 2020 falls on April 7th. The National Healthy Schools partnership had planned to focus on “The Air we Breathe, the Water we Drink.” In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership pivoted to encouraging schools and districts to think about ways to take advantage of empty school buildings to perform maintenance tasks. National Healthy Schools Day 2020 also provides an opportunity to advocate for federal attention to health and safety conditions in our nation’s schools.
$22.8 Million for Projects in Schools and Childcare Facilities
The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016 authorized federal funds for lead in drinking water programs. All 50 states submitted Letters of Intent to apply for appropriated WIIN Act financial assistance for programs to detect lead in school and childcare drinking water through sampling and testing of facility tap water.
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a new WIIN Act grant program, “Reduction in Lead Exposure Via Drinking Water.” Congress has authorized $39.9 million in funds to reduce lead through either infrastructure and utility water treatment improvements, or through school and childcare facility remediation. The portion for “Reduction of Children’s Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities” provides $22.8 million in awards for projects to remove and/or replace lead-containing plumbing parts in school or childcare buildings.
Water is a basic human need—something kids cannot live without. Because children spend so much time at school, having fresh, clean water available to them is critical for them to live healthier lives.
All kids in every school in the United States should have access to water at no cost while they’re on campus. When kids don’t have enough water to drink, their health and cognitive performance, particularly their short-term memory, may suffer. And, when water is not available, children tend to consume more sugary drinks, which are linked to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Inside this document, you’ll find facts from up-to-date studies and “fast facts” written in consumer-friendly language. Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has a science...
This summer, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services launched a new campaign aimed at 0 to 5-year-olds and their caregivers. Play Every Day will introduce the state’s youngsters to key healthy habits that have proven to prevent chronic disease later in life.
Play Every Day’s staff created its new materials after talking with Alaska parents and discovering that they wanted to know more about which drinks hid large amounts of sugar—and just how much of it.
Alaskan parents often start serving their children sugary drinks at a young age. On any given day, more than 1 out of 4 Alaskan parents report serving their 3-year-old soda, fruit drinks, sweetened powdered drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks, according to the most recent state survey of Alaskan parents of preschoolers.
The labels on these sugary drinks often can make them look healthier than they really are. Play Every Day videos and materials help parents make sense of drink labels that highlight added vitamins...
Article highlights the challenges facing parents and educators in hydrating America’s kids
Last week, the National Drinking Water Alliance’s advocacy efforts were featured on WebMD, one of America’s most popular health news sources.
The outlet’s in-depth article “Not Just One Reason Kids Don't Drink Enough Water,” authored by the Emmy-award winning medical journalist Jennifer Clopton, offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges that parents face in getting their children to drink healthy water instead of choosing sugary drinks or living with chronic under-hydration.
Clopton identifies poor access to water at schools, camps, daycares, and preschools as one of the greatest roadblocks to hydration.
In the article, Erica L. Kenney, ScD, an assistant professor at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, highlights the root of the problem. She says, “when you become an adult and you want a drink of water, you can generally get it. As a kid though, you are in a captive sc...
New quick-read versions of the National Drinking Water Alliance “Healthy Hydration” fact sheet are now available in English and Spanish. The factsheets highlight key reasons why water is a healthy choice for thirst-quenching. Access and download them both here.
Research shows that offering drinking water promotional material near a drinking water access point will increase water consumption.1 The new fact sheets are designed to be eye-catching and suitable for posting near a water fountain, in a kitchen or near another drinking water location.
The fact sheets feature a bilingual water droplet designed by graphic artists for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
1. Kenney EL, Gortmaker SL, Carter JE, Howe CW, Reiner JF, Cradock AL. Grab a Cup, Fill It Up! An Intervention to Promote the Convenience of Drinking Water and Increase Student Water Consumption During School Lunch. Am J Public Health. 2015; 105(9): 1777-1783.