FMs servicing educational establishments will be especially busy at this time of year, ensuring the safe provision of hydration for educational buildings including schools, universities and colleges.
What should FMs be aware of to ensure they are providing the best solution for their customers?
The Water-dispenser & Hydration Association (WHA), the Industry’s association maintaining quality and standards, answers some questions which may be raised.
Why is hydration especially important for the educational sector?
Research has shown that 6 out of 10 children are thought to arrive at school in a dehydrated state. Even a 1% drop in hydration can impair physical and academic performance. Knowing when you are thirsty doesn’t come naturally to any of us but especially children. Their higher total body water content and high respiratory and metabolic rate makes them more vulnerable to the risk of dehydration, compared with adults. Children need to be ‘taught’ to drink frequently and healthily. They should have 6 – 8 drinks a day, and it has been proved that it encourages healthy hydration if water bottles are kept on their desks.
What action can educators take to encourage students to drink water?
There is one easy way for students to know if they are properly hydrated – and that’s to check the colour of their urine!
The WHA “pee” chart is available to download from the WHA website and can be duplicated and placed in specific areas in student facilities.
If students see that they are dehydrated they should head straight to a water source. Therefore, ample provision of water fountains and dispensers give students the opportunity to keep hydrated and also to fill their personal water bottles.
What kind of product should FMs consider?
WHA Distributors will be able to guide you to the best solutions. Whether you choose a fountain, a bottled water dispenser or a mains-fed dispenser depends on the accessibility of the mains water feed.
Where should FMs source safe, hygienic and reliable hydration solutions?
Whichever style of water dispenser is appropriate, FMs should make sure of one thing. Choose a supplier that is a member of the Water-dispenser & Hydration Association. The WHA is the leading trade body which ensures standards of safety and hygiene are top of their class. WHA Members must adhere to strict Codes of Practice and are rigorously audited every year. By dealing with a Member you are getting the best.
Visit the WHA website to check who is your nearest member.
What about sustainability?
As well as providing one of the healthiest hydration solutions, the water dispenser industry is also one of the most sustainable. Bottled water dispensers are highly sustainable as the bottles are collected, cleansed and reused many times over. Mains-fed dispensers of course use water from the mains supply. In addition many WHA members follow the ‘5 for 5 Sustainability Pledge’.
We strongly recommend that when looking for hydration solutions for your clients, you place membership of the WHA as an accreditation body, on your checklist of requirements in your tender documents. Quality. Trust. Standards. We are the WHA – the advantage is clear.
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