Primary school insisting my child takes water not squash to school, despite there being a medical reason for it

(776 Posts)

My ds is 10 and suffers from frequent migraines. He takes daily preventative meds for them, and we try hard to manage them by eliminating triggers.

Obviously, dehydration is a major trigger, and so I need to make sure he drink enough during the day. I send him to school with weak squash in his water bottle, as he is not overly keen on water, and so will not drink enough of it. I know this to be the case from seeing him drink at home.

School are kicking up an almighty fuss about it. I have spoken to them countless times explaining why he needs the squash, and have also written a letter insisting he be alowed it, abd again explained why.
Today he was pulled into the heads office because of the squash.

I went in after school and asked to see the head. I was told she could only speak to me for 2 minutes. She came out and right away knew why I was there. She just went on and on about many people not liking water and getting headaches, but that other kids would think it was ok for their child to bring in squash also.
She then said that my ds had promised earlier that day, to try and drink only water next week. So basically they got him to agree to this in a meeting with no parent present.

I explained again about his migraines, but she basically insisted and just said that ds had agreed now.

Is there anyting I can do about this ? I think their treatment of him and his condition is appaling. We have also had issues where they have made him wait for calpol when a headache starts.

AuntieStella Thu 04-Jul-13 17:11:56

Yes, get a letter from the doctor.

Parents requests just don't carry the same weight, as schools have sadly all too often seen those who take the mickey. But in black and white from a doctor just cannot be brushed aside.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:12:12

Oooh I would just be sneaky and buy him flavoured water. Or put squash into a coloured, lidded bottle so they couldn't see.

Nosy so and so's!

They sniff the water in the bottles, to make sure it is water.

I was hoping to avoid getting a doctors letter, as i seem to spend half my life in there atm, but looks like i will have to.

mumblechum1 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:21:36

God they are utter loons. What do they think is in squash, liquid heroin?

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:26:45

I can see the school's point. Ours is the same, water only, to encourage healthy eating/drinking. Seems reasonable to me otherwise other parents whose children are simply fussy will also want their child allowed to bring squash. However, i am sure that if you provide a doctor's letter detailing the medical reasons why your child must be allowed squash I am sure the school will find a way to accommodate this.

I would draft a care plan for him while he is at school. State the daily medication and the preventative measures (ie must remain well hydrated. Child requires incentive to drink fluids therefore weak squash is provided by parent). Then state his symptoms if a migraine is coming on and say exactly what should be done - eg administer 500mg of paracetamol as an oral suspension (provided by parent and kept in school office), telephone parent and request child is taken home. Continue to offer fluids.

You get the idea smile If you're really lucky when you meet the ht to discuss it, she'll sign it.

Good luck!

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:33:11

Really good suggestion motherofsnortpigs. State very clearly what needs to be done and make it as easy as possible for the school to agree to follow it. That way everyone is happy.

Frikadellen Thu 04-Jul-13 17:33:47

If he has to have squash (and I can see the schools POW here) then I would agree to work with the school here and buy colour less type and make sure ds doesnt tell his friends he has squash and not water.

Personally I would work on ensuring that he drinks more water over the holiday..

I have tried countless times to get ds to drink water, and he won't.

I am more than happy to provide a bottle that isn't see through and it be flavoured water so know one can tell, but school are saying no.

I will look up care plans.

justalilmummy Thu 04-Jul-13 17:43:38

Havnt really got any advice but wanted to say ds school insists on water alone and it drives me mad as my ds refuses point blank to drink water, which is ok as hes only in nursery atm for 3 hours and gets a carton of milk, but come September I hate the thought of him going 6 hours without a drink which I know he will if I only give him water!
I'm going to do what op suggested in sneaking squash in a coloured bottle, which I know many parents alreadydo!

auntpetunia Thu 04-Jul-13 17:46:00

Find out who your school nurse and get her on side, she can then deal with school on your behalf and can speakt your gp for you.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:49:40

At 10 he's old enough to know that he needs to drink water to stop him becoming ill. Sorry, I'd have no sympathy with my son and I'd just tell him to get on with it, its the rules and its not like they're saying he isn't allowed to drink anything. But obviously I'm a bit harsher with my children than you!

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:50:50

My children would be delighted to have a "medical reason" to have squash!

He's 10. Old enough to understand that he needs to drink, and that water is the best thing for him to drink. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to headaches, by the way.

And we'll done to the Head for explaining it to him and treating him as mature enough to understand.

Pandanot - Yes clearly you are.

Have you seen the distress of a child suffering from a migraine ? I have, countless times, and drinking a beaker full of weak squash per day, is a very small prive to pay, to decrease the chane of him getting one.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Thu 04-Jul-13 17:52:53

I'm with Panda. At 10 your child should be learning that sometimes you have to do things you don't like, such as take medicine to stay well or drink water. It's not like you're forcing him to take castor oil, is it?

A migaine is not simply a headache.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:53:57

Yes I have actually. My ds has them, he's 9 and has had them since he was 5. He drinks his water.

He also takes medication for the migraines that has made him put on weight. Should I stop those aswell, and tell him to just deal with it, because his tablets are making him fat ?

edwinamerckx Thu 04-Jul-13 17:55:07

wtf is it with control freak teachers? If it's not uniforms it's drinks now? Seems like the teaching profession still attracts the same little hitlers that it did when I was at school. At least they can't actually legally beat the crap out of kids any more as they used to with us.

And if he didn't drink water, you'd let him suffer instead ? Good for you.

I have 3 children, and my ds is my youngest. I have never gone against school on anything that they implement, but my child wellbeing is more important than their stupid rules.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 17:56:03

What is there not to like about water? It doesn't taste nasty it just has no particular flavour. Ten is definitely old enough to know that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to. Especially if it means avoiding a painful headache.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 17:56:07

tbh I can see the school's point here. All children need to stay hydrated, and probably lots of them would prefer to drink squash rather than plain water. I think your DS is old enough now to understand that he needs to keep up his fluids to try and stave off migraines, and those fluids should be water. Migraines are horrible, I used to get them as a teenager, so I do feel for your DS. If you can persuade your doctor to write a note, then do that, but I don't think you'll have much luck with the school otherwise.

The problem with squash is the stickyness when it spills, so I can see why the school has that rule. And sneaking squash into a coloured bottle - really? hmm not going to be a great start to your relationship with the school, justalilmummy...

Should add that both my elder children happily took water to school, so it isn't that i just don't care and let him drink what he likes. I have tried to get him to drink water, but he drinks a tiny fraction of the bottle, if it only has water in, and then he gets a migraine.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:57:16

I know all about having children with migraines.

10 is quite old enough to understand that he needs to drink, and that water is what's available.

halcyondays Thu 04-Jul-13 17:58:42

Unless it was a clear bottle, other children wouldn't even know he was drinking squash not water. Sniffing bottles is ridiculously OTT.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 17:59:17

I'm curious, though, as well - isn't sugar linked to migraines, in which case squash won't be the best drink for him anyway, even though he prefers it. DISCLAIMER - I just remember reading that somewhere, it may well not be actual fact! I do sympathise with your DS, but it sounds like he just doesn't like water as opposed to not being able to drink it.

PandaNot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:59:28

He doesn't have a choice but to drink his water because he knows he'll be ill if he doesn't. Just like he became incredibly distressed when he first started taking medication because he found it so hard to take the tablets. But he had no choice so he got used to it. Having to drink plain water is not difficult. He's just not used to it. But like I said that's my children. You do what you think is best for yours.

wannaBe Thu 04-Jul-13 18:00:31

not liking water is not a medical reason to drink squash. Water is natural, he nneeds to drink, and actually water is more hydrating than squash is anyway.

The water isn't going to harm him, there is no reason why he cannot drink it. The head is absolutely right and you should stop pandering to his refusal to drink water. If he knows the consequences of not drinking water then he knows he should drink it in order too not get migrains. He's ten, perfectly old enough to understand.

Stop treating him like a baby and tell him he needs to drink more water if he doesn't want to end up feeling ill. It really its that simple- it's water, not rat poison.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Jul-13 18:02:56

At 10, he should be old enough to make the connection between feeling unwell and not drinking enough water. He's not a toddler who has to be tricked into it.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 18:04:45

he drinks a tiny fraction of the bottle, if it only has water in, and then he gets a migraine

Then he needs to drink more water. He is old enough to understand that. He has a choice - drink water or suffer a migraine.

I'm not sure that the gp would give you a letter stating that he should drink squash instead of water for medical reasons.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:06

Not liking water is hardly a medical reason for drinking squash? confused

throckenholt Thu 04-Jul-13 18:06:05

I think the school are making a mountain out of a molehill - surely other kids can be told he has to have special drink (not specified what) because of his medication.

I also think that he is old enough to learn that water is what he needs to keep him feeling ok - and should learn drink it - surely it can't be worse than a migraine ?

I'd agree with you OP, if he wasn't 10.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 04-Jul-13 18:06:20

It'll be much, much better for his long-term health if he learns to like water. I speak as someone who has a mouth-full of fillings because I refused to drink water, and spat it out. My parents pandered to this whim, and I now have the teeth of a person twice my age.

I weaned myself off squash after the first set of painful fillings, and now drink pretty much nothing but water. It used to make me gag as a child, but that was totally psychological.

I do see your child is beng singled out, but I really don't understand why a 10 yo HAS to have squash and can't just drink water.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 18:09:32

A GP would advise that water is better than squash if dehydration is a problem

His problem of not drinking enough at school needs to be addressed. If squash is a non-starter, then agree with school that he needs verbal encouragement and prompting to drink his water (maybe at set times of day) with extra attention paid to this on hotter days and during/after physical activity. The consequences of school failing to help you in this world presumably impact on your Ds's attendance - not good for school.

keepsmiling12345 Thu 04-Jul-13 18:16:32

Can't believe I missed that the OP's son is 10! Somehow I assumed this thread was about a reception child who couldn't understand what they needed to do to help prevent their migraines and therefore a doctor might be willing to write a note. Unfortunately, given he is 10, and assuming there is no medical reason he cant drink water, then i think it is unlikely a doctor would say in his professional opinion that your DS needs squash. Sorry OP. My DD also suffers from migraines and its been a learning curve for us both in how to prevent them. And sometimes, like avoiding chocolate and artificial sugars, it has been very hard for her to accept. But she has, and I am sure your DS can too. Good luck.

Squash isn't rat poison either is it !!!

I am not pandering to him at all. I have tried to get him to have water, but even with me reminding him to drink up, he just doesn't drink enough of it.

It's a shame his school give more thought to this than they do his education.

Suzieismyname Thu 04-Jul-13 18:19:11

He's 10. Surely old enough to understand rules and that by not drinking water HE is causing the headaches.
Schools have rules for a reason, not just to piss off parents.

His attendace before he went on preventative meds was an issue, because he was constantly missing school. School moaned about that.

I have done everything I can to ensure that ds has what he needs at school to mean that if a migraine occurs, it doesn't impact on his day, and he can stay in school. School have battled with me all the way, including making him wait over half an hour to recieve calpol.

There is absolutly no point in me saying can someone please prompt him to drink. They don't help remind him about punctuation and capital letters, so they won't remind him to drink.

How headbangingly frustrating. I don't know what more to say sad

BalloonSlayer Thu 04-Jul-13 18:27:34

Well I agree that 10 is old enough to know better but sometimes they don't.

My DD is 11! She only drinks squash or milk (or milkshake or hot chocolate) and I have tried and tried to get her to drink water and she'll take a bottle but it will come home as full as it left. She says she tries to drink it but doesn't like the taste. hmm No matter how often I insist that water doesn't taste of anything, she says it does. hmm x 1000

So we are back to the juice. At one point we were asked by a HP to ask the school if she could drink more during the day and have squash in a non see-through bottle instead of water and the school said, yep, absolutely fine.

(Although my severely milk-allergic DS was not allowed squash or rice milk at pre-school. They said that they had to offer a choice of milk or water only and as he couldn't have milk he would have to have water. So he never had a drink either as he also wouldn't drink water. You can imagine how I raged when the year after he left they let a child who only had an intolerance bring in soya milk. I was really upset.)

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 18:28:18

OP, sounds as though you don't have much faith in the school. Presumably he's at least year 5, maybe year 6. Either way he won't be there much longer. I think, presuming there are no other issues, that you can just tell him simply that he needs to drink the water in an attempt to avoid the horrible migraines that he's been having. Really big him up in a "you're such a grown up/mature/bright boy that I know you'll understand you need to have water, which is better for you than squash."

spanieleyes Thu 04-Jul-13 18:29:30

IS this at lunchtime or during the day?
If they are insisting on water with a packed lunch, I think this is unreasonable, fruit juice or squash should be acceptable with a lunch.
But if you want your child to sip squash during the day I think you are being unreasonable. Have you seen the mess children can make with water bottles during the day? Imagine 30 squash bottles around the classroom, flies and wasps everywhere! And sorry but if one child is allowed squash because " he doesn't like water" then every child will want the same. Dozens of parents will be queuing up at the door to say that their child MUST drink squash rather than water because they suffer from headaches/dehydration/cystitis/bladder problems etc. There is NO medical reason why your child needs squash, he needs liquids which is what the school are providing. At 10 he should realise the consequences of his decisions.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 04-Jul-13 18:29:32

Squash isn't rat poison, no, but if it spills desks get very sticky and books are ruined. Squash is therefore a total pain in the backside to have in the classroom.

Thank you Balloonslayer. Yes my ds is ten, but he is a young ten, and also has some 'issues' with learning. To him, it is a black and white issue. He doesn't liek water, but he likes squash, so he'll drink squash.

I think at 10 he is old enough that not having a migraine is incentive enough to get him to drink plain water.

I suffer from migraines myself and currently rattle with medication which I have to take on a daily basis. I knew, when I was at school, that I had to drink water - and lots of it - at lunch time in primary school, which I left in 1993. We were only allowed to drink - any drink - at lunchtime.

He is in year 5 yes, and you are right, I have little or no faith left in the school. When my dd's attended there it was much better, or should I say, that they both fitted into the box.

Ds very much does not fit into the box and so his time there is not a happy one.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 18:32:50

You provide the water and he decides whether or not to drink it. He faces the consequences of his choices. At his age it is important that he takes responsibility for his actions.

If he were 5 it would be different, but he is not. We all have to do things we don't like but we have to learn to just get on with it. A school education incorporates this kind of taking responsibility for yourself, not just educating children about numeracy and literacy.

It's part of growing up, thinking about consequences, making good choices.

Highlander Thu 04-Jul-13 18:34:07

One of the reasons he won't drink water is because mum always caves in. The consequence of not drinking water is a painful migraine - he needs to learn that, and also learn that you won't come dashing to his rescue and remove him from school if that happens.

I suffer from migraines and they are hideous, so I completely get that as a mum you probably cannot bear to watch your son go through that misery.

but that doesn't stop him playing you to get what he wants........

Highlander Thu 04-Jul-13 18:36:03

Does he have learning difficulties?

CaptainSweatPants Thu 04-Jul-13 18:36:35

They actually sniff water bottles?!!

Who are these teachers who have time to do that?!!

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 18:38:16

School have battled with me all the way, including making him wait over half an hour to recieve calpol

School staff are under no obligation to administer medicine of any kind. In our school, designated staff will administer medicine if it has been prescribed, such as antibiotics, but no-one gives calpol.

hollyisalovelyname Thu 04-Jul-13 18:38:36

I'm with Panda. It's just water fgs. Not bat's urine. Get over it.

Apparently not highlander, but he is behind his peers, achademically and socially.

If that were the case with his calpol fairenuff then i'd have to give up my job, and ensure I was at home incase school rang for me to go an administer calpol. How ridiculius.

They have now agreed to do it, if it is prescribed by his doctor, but what is the point of having it there if they then make him wait for it ? A few minutes can make a difference between it turning into a full blown migraine or not.

notapizzaeater Thu 04-Jul-13 18:42:32

We are really strict too. Could he not have a big glass of squash just before he goes in and a carton of juice at lunchtime and then a big drink when he gets home ? Then he could just sip a drop during the day.

Has he himself made the connection that no drink = migraine ? My ds - 10 (ASD) has a horrid cold at the moment it's stopping him sleeping so he snorts a nasal spray to sop it - he really really hates it but has realised it stops his nose from being blokes so the pain is worth the gain.

Does he like iced water ? Personally I hate warm water but can drink iced water all day ...

cocolepew Thu 04-Jul-13 18:44:45

The school is being OTT, sniffing bottles?!

Weegiemum Thu 04-Jul-13 18:45:08

Doctor letter! Phone GP first thing and ask to speak to someone urgently.

My ds suffers migraines (though not on preventatives) and drinks water (won't touch squash!) but if the school ever stopped the water, or made him do the things that are triggers for him (strobing, sugar) then I'd be in all guns blazing

cruxible Thu 04-Jul-13 18:48:27

Next year he'll be in secondary school. I imagine there's not so much control freakery over what they drink then.

So much fuss from the school. Just let him have squash fgs.

kelda Thu 04-Jul-13 18:48:34

I do understand the principle of getting a ten year old to take responsibility for his own water intake and following the rules.

BUT

The school actually SNIFF his water bottle? What a ridiculous fuss the school are making over a bit of squash. Some rules are just stupid.

twistyfeet Thu 04-Jul-13 18:51:30

Could you home educate?
I suffer hideous migraines but I do think 10 is old enough to understand that water is needed. Squash will contain either sugar or aspartame, both of which have been linked to more frequent migraines. I'm also intrigued as to what preventative medication he is on. I was put on topomax and lost 30% of my body weight.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 18:52:06

I'm surprised you haven't been advised to avoid squash as it is a common migraine trigger

SingingSands Thu 04-Jul-13 18:52:19

Hi OP

Is it perhaps his water bottle that makes the water taste a bit funny, giving the impression he doesn't like it? Some bottles can taste a bit plastic or tinny. Would a really good quality bottle help? I suppose you could always add a sweetener to the water if you got really desperate, as long as he is diligent about teeth brushing it might help and you could gradually cut it out? Or would a slice of lemon be allowed?

DramaQueenofHighCs Thu 04-Jul-13 18:53:52

Ok I'm on the fence here.

Why I can't really see why he can't have flavoured water (I'd have an issue with them 'sniffing' bottles as its surely a health and safety risk of germs.) so unless he tells them that's what he's got then I don't see how they'd find out.

OTOH I really don't see why he can't drink plain water and 'has' to have squash. He does it because you allow him to get away with it. If you stood by what the school says it would only take a couple of migranes for him to get the message and for him to start drinking plain water! I know this from personal experience as I suffer from hyperhydrosis and have to drink loads of water in summer or I get severely dehydrated. My school also had a 'plain water only' rule which my parents stuck with despite my protestations.
Yes migranes are horrid but there really is no medical reason why he has to have squash - just water. If he won't drink it then it's not the school's problem and I'd be dubious of any doctor who would willingly sign a note saying "He has to have squash because letting him have plain water only is cruel because he doesn't like it! :hmm: "

EuphemiaLennox Thu 04-Jul-13 18:54:26

OP I know it would be much easier for you and him if they'd just let him have squash, and it's frustrating becuase it's so easy to do.

But they have a rule, they want to enforce it and your DS has no medical reason for avoiding that rule, except he doesn't like it.

So you have to help him get used to this. He needs to view his water as medicine which he needs to self administer at certain points in the day or hell become ill. You need to think of ways of monitoring, nagging, rewarding, punishning him until he starts to do this.( although you'd have thought bringing on a migraine would be punishment enough to motivate him.)

It's independence which will stand him in good stead.

I have to say your comment about him being made to agree to drink water without a parent present did ring overprotective alarm bells. 'Child agrees to try to drink water' is hardly shocking, children agree to do things in school constantly without thier parents present.

Why do you think the school refuse to take this seriously? Making him wait for calpol etc? Have they seen him have a migraine attack or have they just labelled you as a fuss pot who's exggarating and mollycoddling?

ravenAK Thu 04-Jul-13 18:59:06

Um, speaking as a secondary school teacher, we are completely control freaky about drinks other than plain water in the classroom...mostly because of sticky spills tbh.

I'd just get him to have a good drink of squash/milk/juice before school, take another drink for lunchtime, & support school in encouraging him to drink from his water bottle in between. Can he have a drink at break time?

DramaQueenofHighCs Thu 04-Jul-13 18:59:13

FWIW it will be plain water only for GCSE exams and will have to be in a clear bottle so he will have to get used to it at some point. The exam boards won't make concessions for 'not liking water' no matter what the medical reasons - trust me!

frogwatcher42 Thu 04-Jul-13 18:59:46

Surely water is better for migraines than squash anyway - I am sure I read somewhere that most makes of squash can trigger headaches so it may contribute to his migraines anyway.

I am of the opinion that you give him loads to drink on way to school and after school, but he takes water to school. A rule is a rule and it is up to you to encourage him to work with them.

Its only water - my dd has to take some really horrible medicine frequently at the moment (and will for a long while). It is so horrid it makes her gag but at 9 she knows she has to do it. Surely its the same principle or if it was medicine would he also refuse. Effectively the water is his medicine so he has to take it.

frogwatcher42 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:01:50

singing sands - excellent suggestions. Op - why not add a slice of lemon - it will taste completely different and the school would probably allow that.

Problem solved.

EduCated Thu 04-Jul-13 19:06:38

As someone who detests drinking water, I can sympathise with your DS. I'd second the slice of lemon/lime suggestion, or even orange. Give it a bit of a squeeze first wink

EduCated Thu 04-Jul-13 19:07:15

Also the suggestion of adding ice and making sure it's not a bottle with a really plasticky taste.

I find water disgusting to drink, tastes like chlorine to me. I get it down a lot easier with fresh lemon squeezed into it. Maybe try him with this at home to get him used to the taste, surely they can't complain about a squeeze of lemon.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Jul-13 19:12:04

Would he drink fizzy water or water laced with ice cubes and a slice of lemon? I think the reusable plastic bottles taint the water tbh so maybe try buying individual bottles of mineral water instead.

mrsravelstein Thu 04-Jul-13 19:14:33

ds2 won't drink plain water, even if he's very thirsty (ds1 and dd will happily drink it, so, amazing, it turns out to be a matter of preference rather than parenting).

i can understand the teachers not wanting spillages of sticky squash in the classroom, (although imagine that 10 year olds don't spill their drinks quite so much as 5 year olds?) but presume he could have a drink outside at lunchtime/playtime, in which case, just put it into one of those blue plastic drinks bottles which won't make it obvious.

Frikadellen Thu 04-Jul-13 19:18:59

I missed he was 10 as well..

Like I said I would take summer to teach him to drink water.

However I would also when he does get a migraine ensure to tell him " this is partially because you did not drink enough water" it will seem mean to begin with but it is for his own good.

I agree with sending in water with lemon in it.. good idea.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 19:21:16

I use those mineral water bottles and refill them with tap water. I don't like the plastic smell/taste of drinking bottles.

He is on Pizotifen for his migraines.

I have tried a lot of bottles as they tend to break easily, but if anyone can reccomend another one then i'll happily try it, although he won;t drink water from a glass either so not sure it'll work.

I will try the lemon thing too.

I think it is a shame that the school are ficusing on, and putting so much effort into this, when there are way more important things to be focusing on.

MiaowTheCat Thu 04-Jul-13 19:26:28

Have you tried freezing his water bottle the night before so it gradually defrosts over the course of the day and is really really cold?

willowisp Thu 04-Jul-13 19:26:29

What's causing his headaches ? I have to say I agree with the school - one rule for all etc & drinking squash, weak or not, isn't good for teeth.

So much fuss over a centimetre of orange squash.

I detest water, can't stand it so have every sympathy with your son. I could easily drink gallons of weak squash, can't drink a drop of plain water.

How about all the other 10 year olds get told tough titty when they ask for squash? Or let them have it ffs. Problem solved.

Startail Thu 04-Jul-13 19:28:19

DD2 would make herself ill rather than drink water.

Or HT suggested water only for a couple of weeks the parents just ignored him and he 'forgot'

If they are really stupid just provide two bottles on for testing and one for drinking.

No cause has been found for his headaches. He has triggers, which are dehydration, over excitement, stress, too much screen time.

We have never found any food (or drink) triggers.

Oh and he has his eyes tested regularly and it's not that either.

I have tried freezing his water yes, but he still left most of it.

Oh and his teeth by the way are fine, no problems at all.

EuphemiaLennox Thu 04-Jul-13 19:32:48

I know Nutcraker I hate rules are rules are rules mentality, when with a bit of flexibility and a dollop of common sense so many 'problems' could be overcome.

But when your kids are at a school you have to suck it up or move them. Sometimes it's just easier to stick to the rule than fight it even if inwardly seething about how unnecessary they're being.

I'm often a rule breaker if I think the rules pointless, but with kids and schools you have to grin and bare it.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 04-Jul-13 19:33:06

sorry totally agree with the school.

I'd love to move him, but it's not an option unfortunatly.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 19:34:44

Gwendoline you seriously can't drink a drop of plain water? What, does it make you throw up, or what? I have never, ever heard of that before. Is it an allergy?

hollyisalovelyname Thu 04-Jul-13 19:34:44

My ds got migraines from orange colouring in food and drink

OddBoots Thu 04-Jul-13 19:35:09

I can understand water only in a classroom where it may spill on books etc, would they let him have squash/flavoured water in the medical room at break and lunch?

CitrusyOne Thu 04-Jul-13 19:36:32

Op, I think from your attitude and the way you speak of your son's experience of school that you should take him out of this one and find him another. It shouldn't be such a battle for either of you. I suggest you go and visit some other schools and ask them about their policy and find another that suits. I think you're going to meet a stalemate with this one.,

CitrusyOne Thu 04-Jul-13 19:37:20

Sorry- crossed post, hasn't read other suggestions to move and your responses when I posted.

Fairenuff Thu 04-Jul-13 19:37:23

We have never found any food (or drink) triggers

But how do you know that the squash isn't triggering the migraines if you have never cut it out of his diet? Surely that would be one thing that you could rule out quite easily if you wanted to confused

Inertia Thu 04-Jul-13 19:37:43

Would they be able to tell if it's colourless flavoured water? Admittedly I have a poor sense of smell, but I've never noticed those lemon and lime flavoured water drinks to smell.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 19:37:56

Hmm. No water refusers on a desert island, I suspect!

BabiesAreLikeBuses Thu 04-Jul-13 19:38:32

Where is this school in which teachers have time to sniff drinks bottles and don't need to correct work? I'm off there sounds more chilled than any school i've worked at!
As for your son, he needs to get on with it and get over water. It's no big deal!

spanieleyes Thu 04-Jul-13 19:44:59

The other children will be able to sniff squash and flavoured water at 100 yards! Have you never asked who a jumper belongs to, only for a child to sniff it and say with complete certainty, "It's Johnny's, Miss" And they're right confused

GampyWabbit Thu 04-Jul-13 19:48:29

Your son is 10.
He has agreed with the school that he will drink water.

That should be the end of it really.

VanellopePitstop Thu 04-Jul-13 19:50:09

I agree that you are well within your rights to go in and complain and insist on the squash but if I am honest I think you need to teach your son that, like it or not, he has to have water in school.

I know he doesn't like it, but I think at 10 he needs to understand and take some (not all) responsibility for maintaining his own health.

I expect that from my children and they are only 3 and 4 years old

They both have medical problems that mean they have to do things on a daily basis that they don't like.

My youngest has to have her inhalers each day, she finds the face mask very distressing and cries but knows she has to have it and that is that. Ditto if she has to go on the nebuliser in hospital. She understands she needs them and complies with having them even though she finds it scary, she only turned 3 last month.

My eldest has to take her meds everywhere she goes, even to the corner shop, she is 4 and it is her responsibility to take her meds bag with her (of course, I keep a watchful eye and give lots of praise, it is all still new to us). She has tests at the hospital frequently and screams in pain when she has needles, but she knows she has to if she is going to stay well.

It sucks for children with medical problems (and I thank God that ours are relatively mild issues), but I think that they need to learn to take some responsibility for their own welfare. Obviously with lots of love, cuddles and guidance from us.

I personally think, and I'm sure you'll disagree, that you are doing your son no favours in the long run.

3boys3dogshelp Thu 04-Jul-13 19:52:02

I'm on the fence. My ds has kidney problems and also has some sort of (as yet undiagnosed) sensory issues. We have struggled since he was a baby to get him to drink water. He is in reception and I persevered with sending water for 2 months until he had a urinary infection and back pain. At this point I spoke to his teacher who wouldn't let him take anything else-so I asked her to encourage him to drink more (he is only 4 and it's a small school before anyone jumps on me!). After watching him retch and gag trying to 'be good' and drink his water she has happily allowed juice as long as the other kids don't see.
However, I am generally strict with him and am only making allowances for him being new to school. I have no intention of this carrying on long term and regularly make him try things he says he doesn't like, including water several times a week. We are getting there slowly.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 04-Jul-13 19:56:37

But 3boys3dogshelp, your DS is only in reception, so, what 4/5? OP's DS is 10, so probably more able to understand the reasoning.

zigzoo Thu 04-Jul-13 19:56:40

Does the squash have aspartame in it?

Please please change it for one that does not. Aspartame can

<I am a migraine sufferer>.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Jul-13 19:58:08

Doctors letter! Phone GP first thing and ask to speak to someone urgently
No doctor worth his salt will prescribe squash to a 10 year old on the grounds that he'd rather not drink water.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 19:58:19

All squash has aspartame in it, another reason fr a migraine prone child to have water.

mrz Thu 04-Jul-13 20:04:24

A GP will tell you that squash is likely to trigger a migraine and to drink water

3boys3dogshelp Thu 04-Jul-13 20:07:10

Exactly avon, that's what I mean. I resisted it even in my 4 yr old and have no intention of carrying on allowing in 6 years!

Damnautocorrect Thu 04-Jul-13 20:07:34

Sainsburys High juice doesn't have aspartame in it.

I've no help just sympathies as I've a water refuser too.
I never understand the water police who say you can't not like it, we all have likes and dislikes. Water can be one of them

Blu Thu 04-Jul-13 20:14:21

The migraines sound awful - a horrible thing for him to suffer.

But surely at 10 he is old enough (depending on the other issues you allude to) to understand that it's better to drink water than to get a migraine? I say this from the pov of having a child who has had to endure an extremely painful medical procedure every day for a year because he knew the alternive was worse...

I too would wean him off squash, with it's sugars, sweetners and aspartame, and substitute diluted pure apple juice, or else encourage him with iced water from a mineral water bottle with ice cubes and tell him it is Mountain Water. That's how I got DS onto water instead of apple juice.

cheerfulweather Thu 04-Jul-13 20:16:24

How about natural flavoured water? You can do it yourself, by squeezing lemon, lime or adding juice from fruits.

www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/quick-easy-flavoured-water#close

What are the objections to squash, given by the school? Is it only banned on health grounds? Or is it connected to practical issues like spillages being more troublesome in cleaning up etc?

Blu Thu 04-Jul-13 20:17:42

If he has agreed with the school that he will drink water, why are you undermining that?

If this works, and he gets used to water (isn't it a bit like getting used to tea without sugar for the first time?) it will be better for his teeth and other health.

If it doesn't, you can try plan B. But if he has said to the school that he will drink water, I would not interfere with that experiment.

ihearsounds Thu 04-Jul-13 20:19:41

Squash has additives in it. Additives are a high trigger. A GP will not write a letter endorsing squash because it is a known trigger. The go also will not write a letter because squash is not a healthy option, and should be avoided because of the increase of weight as a result of the meds.

Is it orange squash that he drinks?

Does it contain aspertamine? Ie sugar free.

cheerfulweather Thu 04-Jul-13 20:20:24

Not all squash contains additives or aspartame. Very easy to find one which does not.

Heifer Thu 04-Jul-13 20:41:39

My DD is 9 and has the same issues. I'm lucky in that she does drink water and is allowed to at any time during school. She is even allowed to take her water bottle with her wherever she goes.
Have you tried to dilute the squash down gradually to ween him of it?
Something that helps the water taste better is to get a bottle with a filter in it. DD loves hers, was £10 but worth the money for the amount she drinks, assuming it doesn't get lost of course.
I do sympathise as I know how upsetting it can be when they get a migraine but you really do need to get him off the squash.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

clam Thu 04-Jul-13 22:01:10

Sorry but there isn't "a medical reason for it." The medical reason is that he drinks plenty. That doesn't mean squash - that's your take on it. As others have said, he's agreed with the school (who he's seemingly unable to 'play' as he does his mum) that he will drink water, so why are you moving everything backwards by insisting he have squash after all.
If you insist on him drinking the stuff, then let him have it before and after school - and all day every day during the summer holidays. It's only a few hours a day during term time that he has to force himself to drink water.

ArtexMonkey Thu 04-Jul-13 22:06:39

"If he has agreed with the school that he will drink water, why are you undermining that?

If this works, and he gets used to water (isn't it a bit like getting used to tea without sugar for the first time?) it will be better for his teeth and other health.

If it doesn't, you can try plan B. But if he has said to the school that he will drink water, I would not interfere with that experiment."

^^exactly this. Drinking water will be a lot better for him long term, you should be working with the school to find a way to get him to drink it instead of undermining them and arguing the toss, if there are wider issues with them it won't be very helpful with those if he picks up on the fact that you are at loggerheads.

TheBuskersDog Thu 04-Jul-13 22:22:53

Sorry but I agree with others that he is old enough to understand that he needs to keep hydrated to prevent migraines and that it needs to be water whilst at school. He does not have a medical need to drink squash, he has a medical need to drink fluids, and water perfectly meets that need.

I speak as another mother of a migraine sufferer, my son suffered migraines with vomiting from about the age of three but thankfully at the age of 16 seems to have almost grown out of them.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 04-Jul-13 22:30:19

Try and work with the need for water, not against the school?

Eg get a water filter so that there isn't a chlorine taste

Try a Siig bottle for a longer lasting metal bottle - they come in some pretty cool designs too.

Freeze the bottle so it is really cold and will taste less strong.

Teach DS that if he pinches his nose when he drinks there will be no taste.

you can also explore bribery to make him want to drink water

dangly131 Thu 04-Jul-13 22:31:03

You say school don't remind him about punctuation and capital letters. I work in a school and I can tell you we remind the children at this age until we are blue in the face about CL and FS but some children choose not to act on that advice much like the advice to drink more water and not get ill!
Maybe you should tell your child to act on advice given to him and not ignore it. Clearly if he is that dehydrated then he is not getting enough fluids from his food either? Is he having fruit and veg to provide him with water?

clam Thu 04-Jul-13 22:34:06

My dd has suffered with migraines for the last 18 months. Initially, she point-blank refused to swallow tablets to help alleviate the symptoms (gagged on them and vomited), so she'd only take Calpol (at age 14) which was hopelessly inadequate. She soon learned that if she didn't want the unpleasant symptoms, she needed something heavier duty.

She now swallows tablets no problem.

AbbyR1973 Thu 04-Jul-13 22:43:12

You are quite correct that fluid intake is important in headache prevention, however I personally would not be inclined to write a letter to a school recommending that a child be allowed to drink squash rather than water.

I actually wonder if you might take a different spin on this with DC and see if you can make some progress on the water front, which will pay off at home as well? Is it really a big problem that school discussed drinking water rather than squash with him without a parent present and that he agreed? It might be worthwhile picking up on this and using it to your advantage in the battle to get him to drink more water: make the point that it was really grown up of him to agree to this and provide some reward mechanism if he sees it through next week? I would start gradually watering down squash more and more when he has it at home.

Really water is a much better choice and I would try and use this as a way forward at home as well. What does DC drink at bedtime/ during the night if he wants a drink? Surely he must drink water then??

NannyPlumIsMyMum Thu 04-Jul-13 22:50:41

There is recent research ( I'm a nurse) that many primary school age children are in a state of mild dehydration at school and that they are no where near drinking enough ...

I think it's shocking that school raise such a fuss about weak squash for any child, never mind one that suffers with migraines hmm.

The over riding importance according to the hierarchy of needs is to stay hydrated!!

edwinamerckx Thu 04-Jul-13 22:54:14

Erm, why do 10 year olds have to take a bottle of drink to school with them anyway? There are water fountains in the corridors and water jugs in the dining hall aren't there?

NannyPlumIsMyMum Thu 04-Jul-13 22:54:18

The point about headaches being linked to artificial sweeteners doesn't hold any weight in this case as migraines are thought to be caused by vascular changes .

dadditlass Thu 04-Jul-13 22:57:49

I had the same problem with my dd, she hates water and suffered from urinary infections. The school wouldn't allow squash. I bought a water bottle from the fly lady website,cost a bit in postage but you can put ice in it and it will stay frozen for about 12 hours even on a hot day. Sometimes I put a jug in the fridge with slices of apple in it or mint and cucumber and she takes that.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 23:05:25

"There is recent research ( I'm a nurse) that many primary school age children are in a state of mild dehydration at school and that they are no where near drinking enough ..."

Could you link to that research, please? I thought it had all been debunked now.

Tullahulla Thu 04-Jul-13 23:13:08

Please don't phone the gp and tell them you urgently need a letter, I'd hate to think that someone who really needed the gp urgently was refused an appointment!

You've not really explained it well, your child doesn't need juice due to medical reasons at all. It's all a bit of a hooha over nothing really - he has been advised to drink water because it keeps him from dehydrating and therefore helps to prevent a migraine.
Stop pandering to your kid, teachers have more to worry about than a pupils likes and dislikes, you'll be the talk of the staff room now!

tiredaftertwo Thu 04-Jul-13 23:16:45

Dehydration is a real problem in schools, there is plenty of research about it. It doesn't matter how often people say they must take responsibility, they need to learn etc etc, that won't make them do so - and I am not sure whre these rules come from? At GCSE, some schools make an effort to remind pupils because it affects their grades.

OP, I have a ds who needed to drink plenty for other medical reasons and would not drink enough water (I think maybe being told you have to drink water from an early age puts you off it, and children with ongoing conditions may want to be rebellious or irresponsible just like everyone else occasionally??).

Anyway, I wrote to the HT, updating her on the latest from the hospital, and saying I wanted to encourage my ds to drink more water but in the short to medium term would be grateful if the school would turn a blind eye to very dilute juice in an opaque bottle while we built up the drinking habit, rather than making a fuss and battle over it. She was fine with that, he started to drink more in the day, and gradually switched to water.

I too would not be happy about a medical condition being discussed without me being there, but given it has happened, I would see how he gets on next week.

The pain relief thing is vital - if they really haven't got anyone prepared to administer calpol then they should tell you - otherwise they should do it properly. I would write down exactly what you would like to happen if he develops symptoms and discuss it with them.

justalilmummy Thu 04-Jul-13 23:19:10

Agentprovocateur sorry I have only just seen ur earlier post
Its not a new school, he has been attending the nursery for almost a year, and I abide by all the rules.
However on this occasion I need to put my child's wellbeing first and as he refuses to drink water, I feel it is highly unfair on him to send him to school for 6 hours with just a bottle of water, he will not even take a sip. On a very hot day thats a long time. I dont feel schools have the right to dictate to parents what their child can and cannot drink

Bunbaker Thu 04-Jul-13 23:25:43

"At 10 he's old enough to know that he needs to drink water to stop him becoming ill. Sorry, I'd have no sympathy with my son and I'd just tell him to get on with it, its the rules and its not like they're saying he isn't allowed to drink anything. But obviously I'm a bit harsher with my children than you!"

I'm glad that you can make reluctant children drink water when they would rather not. Not smug or anything are you?

I have met children who would rather suffer raging thirst, constipation and a headache than drink water. I also get the occasional migraine and so does DD. There is no way on earth I would watch her suffer just because I want to force her to drink something she doesn't want.

This is all academic because DD will drink water, but your holier than thou attitude is just ridiculous.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 23:27:23

"Dehydration is a real problem in schools, there is plenty of research about it"

Looking forward to seeing it!

MidniteScribbler Thu 04-Jul-13 23:32:53

Your son has agreed with the school to give water a try. You now need to take this opportunity to support them and back it up at home. Perhaps a reward system depending on how much he drinks each day.

I also suggest a slice of lemon or lime or other fruit in the water. I would not allow cordial or juice in my classroom (yuck! Even the most careful child can still have an accident), but I have no problem with a bit of fruit to add a little bit of flavour to the water to encourage students to drink more.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 04-Jul-13 23:36:21

Hates water? Who the frig hates water?

There is no medical need for your DS to drink squash.

Bunbaker Thu 04-Jul-13 23:38:00

"Who the frig hates water?"

I don't hate water, but it is very boring. I don't love water the way I love a cup of tea or a glass of wine for instance.

MidniteScribbler Thu 04-Jul-13 23:39:09

Looking forward to seeing it!

You could just try google. It's not too hard to find:

http://www.healthybeveragesinchildcare.org/qa/BarDavid2005ActaPaediatrica.pdf

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 04-Jul-13 23:48:21

He is plenty old enough to know that if he doesn't drink enough he will get a migraine. Drink water or get a migraine his choice.

Stop pandering.

All that squash is bad for him - bad for his teeth, bad for his weight, increases his chance of getting T2 diabetes... need I go on?

Does being too hot affect him? It causes nasty migraines for my young cousin, especially at school in the winter (over heated, fusty classrooms).

Bunbaker Thu 04-Jul-13 23:52:07

I think some of you have never come across a child who won't drink water. Isn't it obvious that just telling them to drink water or suffer doesn't work?

Not sure who said it, but i really could not give a flying fuck if i am the talk of the staff room. I care about my child, not what staff think of me.

Startail Thu 04-Jul-13 23:55:24

Bunbaker you are a 100% right

I'm never did work out how the HT proposed getting DD2 to drink water over night when she's been refusing to for 11 years.

For those saying I am pandering to my ds, you are quite frankly talking rubbish. There are a million things ds doesn't 'like', going to school being one of them, getting out of bed being another, brushing his teeth, eating his veg, going to bed, limited time on his xbox, I could go on.

I enforce all of the above, daily, so I do not pander to him at all.

What i do not like, is a school telling me what is best for my child, when it is me who has to deal with the fallout, and ds who has to spend time in pain, and vomit.
Ds, myself, and his siblings have bigger worries than him drinking bloody squash each day to stop him getting a migraine.

MidniteScribbler Fri 05-Jul-13 00:03:37

Bunbaker - that's where strategies need to be looked at, even good old fashioned bribery. You can't just say to a child "you don't like wearing sunscreen, so it's ok, the risk of melanoma isn't important, you go ahead and play in the sun for eight hours unprotected." Sometimes, children need to learn that there are things that we have to do for our own good. It's why we do put rules in place at school. You don't get to set foot in the playground without a hat here for very good reasons. No amount of "oh it gives me a headache" "it makes my head sweaty" "it's hard to play footy" will allow the rule to be broken. No hat, no play.

I'm not a big fan of water, but I know that I have to drink a certain amount each day for health reasons. I don't say that I'd rather drink coca-cola all day instead. I use a filtered bottle and put some fruit in it. A ten year old is old enough to begin to learn what needs to be done to keep him healthy.

Startail Fri 05-Jul-13 00:04:17

Some posters truly haven't a clue who stubborn 9-11y DC can be.

Yes if I'd had my time again I'd have tried to get Dd2 to drink water sometimes when she was younger, but this hysteria about squash both with and without sugar passed me by. DH always drinks squash so the DDs do too.

holidaysarenice Fri 05-Jul-13 00:11:12

Are you actually serious?! Your child prefers squash to water, MOST children do!!

Give him water, squash at home. You should support the school not rubbish them.

Your childs medical condition is a migraine, prevented by hydration. Not by squash.

Startail Fri 05-Jul-13 00:12:35

Also it's utterly barking because next year he'll be able to drink what the fuck he likes because senior school sell flavoured water and juice and don't care what's in DCs lunch boxes. If they have coke and three mars bars no one would notice.

Although Matron would rather pupils didn't get totally wired on a crate of energy drinks.

Startail Fri 05-Jul-13 00:14:55

Personally I hate squash always did and always drank water or tea. Much to my Brownie leaders annoyance, she couldn't believe a child not liking squash.

Bugsylugs Fri 05-Jul-13 00:35:55

Not read it all. All those of you saying at 10 he will learn the consequences if etc. if this is so please explain to me why I have so many children in clinics who suffer severe constipation because they will not poo at school they know it is better for them, the pain will go if they listen to their bodies but no children like adults are a law unto themselves. Also those who will not drink because they do not want to use toilets for a multitude of reasons and suffer headaches, wee infections poor concentration poor results at school.
Sugar free squash whilst not the best is vastly better than no drinks.

Oh and water does taste especially if warm and has been on the side for an hr or so.

School are bonkers, bet you can get a GP letter.

ravenAK Fri 05-Jul-13 00:51:22

Startail - no, secondary school will almost certainly allow him to have whichever drinks he/parents want as part of a packed lunch, just as he can now. This isn't the issue.

Same rules will apply re: drinking during lessons - ie. it's probably not necessary as a general thing, tbh, & all the exciting research about under-performance linked to not endlessly slurping on a bottle of water has been thoroughly debunked.

That said: bottle of water in lessons, no problem. Kids are quickly told to put it away, if pratting about with it rather than quick drink. Sticky squash on tables, no thanks.

compost Fri 05-Jul-13 00:58:13

This is why you never start giving a child squash in the first place!
Milk or water, and you wont go wrong.
OP if this is such a big thing, then just ask the doc to do the letter and job done.
But your son needs to realise the connection of dehydration creating migraines. And if he wont drink the water, then the headaches cant be so bad. Because we all know intense pain, and will do whatever to avoid it.

Bugsylugs Fri 05-Jul-13 01:11:53

Compost absolutely not true 'because we all know intense pain and will do whatever to avoid it'. It maybe for you but not for many many people both adults and children. Think those that will not take pain relief, those who will not see a dentist but suffer terrible pain etc etc.

Bugsylugs Fri 05-Jul-13 01:12:38

Re milk yes you can go wrong and give too much.

mrz Fri 05-Jul-13 06:53:00

The school isn't tell the OP what is best for her child just what the school rules are. If there was a genuine medical reason why the OPs son could not drink water the school would accommodate it but there isn't a medical reason just a preference.

www.education.gov.uk/complexneeds/modules/Module-4.2-Safeguarding---privacy,-dignity-and-personal-care/B/downloads/m14p090b/wicis_booklet.pdf

mrsravelstein Fri 05-Jul-13 07:16:24

i read in the times the other day that the "8 glasses of water per day" thing is nonsense as apparently you get most of that from food and don't need to actually drink that much. and that in terms of keeping you hydrated, tea/coffee/squash is as effective as plain water (though whether you want the extra calories/caffeine is a separate issue). a couple of posters have mentioned this upthread but it doesn't seem to be widely reported/known.

as for the sugar/teeth isue, the state of teeth seems to be largely genetic as far as i can tell. i've got a squash drinking child with perfect teeth, and a water drinking child with perfect teeth, i suspect they are both just lucky to have inherited them from 2 parents who don't have any fillings despite being keen chocolate fans.

Tullahulla Fri 05-Jul-13 07:24:52

So if you have bigger things to worry about, as you've said, why kick up such a fuss at the school?
I'm still failing to see the medical reason for drinking squash.

Also those banging on about kids being dehydrated at school, what are playtimes and lunchtimes for? Kids get 3 breaks a day, plenty of opportunity to rehydrate themselves.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 05-Jul-13 07:29:28

I don't think your child choosing not to drink water is a medical reason, tbh. Any child if indulged will choose not to do something.

mrz Fri 05-Jul-13 07:39:50

Children have access to water in school at all times Tullahulla not just breaks but if they choose not to drink, it seems it is the school's failing hmm

curlew Fri 05-Jul-13 07:48:54

I wish I had invested in a bottled water company back in the 1990s...........

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 07:52:53

I totally understand the school being arsey on just OP's sayso, just get a doctor's letter that spells out what he needs. Can think of many with similar medical issues at DC school, most recently 2 in reception whom we tried to remember to check had drunk enough at lunch times (but sometimes missed out, and much much harder to monitor a 10yo).
Squash makes such a mess when it's spilt, opens door to all sorts of other unsuitable liquids, just play along. It's not a very big hoop to jump thru.

Fairenuff Fri 05-Jul-13 08:11:23

There must have been a point when he did drink water, as a baby and toddler. When did he first start refusing it? That would have been the best time to phase out the squash. This could have all been sorted out years ago.

Anyway, you can't turn back time so best just to accept that the rule is there and he needs to stick to it.

It's so important at school to have clear rules and enforce them, otherwise it would be chaos. You might be surprised at all the different demands from parents and how much they expect staff to make an exception for their child.

There would be no point in having any rules really.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 05-Jul-13 08:13:34

Why should the school bend their rules because your child is spoiled? Medical reason my backside!

HappyJustToBe Fri 05-Jul-13 08:13:49

Could you try a Bobble bottle. It has a filter on it so tap water loses the odd taste it can sometimes have. I drink loads of water with one. Straight from the tap I'm less inclined.

rockybalboa Fri 05-Jul-13 08:16:46

I would say that a letter from the dr is the way forward.

I think some of you are being a bit harsh on the op she's just worried and scared . Who wouldn't be when they have to sit and watch their child in pain all the time. Maybe she should've have let her toddler have squash but there's no use in worrying s out that now. He's 10 now that's how it is and she's just trying to buy some time to work around it that's all.

op I hope you can talk some sense in to the head teacher and agree to a plan maybe, where you spend the summer doing your best to encourage your ds to drink more water. And agree to start next term with Water only. Maybe start putting jugs on the table with some ice and mint ir lemon slices. Have it become a mealtime habit for all of you. Pick up some cheap little bottles of mineral water in the fridge so it's permanently available. Even at ten, even the really bright kids, they don't always associated the consequences with the actions, how many of us repeated have to tell our children the same thing over and over and over only for them to spend their time trying to prove you wrong.

I do think you need to cooperate with the school and do this with their backing as from sounds of it they aren't great and I would worry that perhaps their opinion of you would colour how they treat your son. And even though you have the best intentions towards your son, to him it may appear amusing or exciting that mummy is sneaking him squash. I would load him up before and after school.

I wish you luck over the summer that you can tackle this problem and you can encourage the water drinking.

sanam2010 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:34:58

I think you should eliminate squash at home as well, clearly he picked up an unhealthy habit of only drinking sweet and fuzzy drinks at home rather than water. Squash is unhealthy and water is the best and the earlier he learns the better (it's already 10 years late!)

MidniteScribbler Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:52

Curlew - we require reusuable bottles which can be filled from water taps (plain old tap water). No pre packaged water on site. You'd not make much from us.

Lavenderloves Fri 05-Jul-13 09:12:26

Don't see an issue with very weak juice for all children who want it.
Schools should leave it to parents imho.

I resnt our fat, clearly unhealthy head dictaing what food children can have.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Fri 05-Jul-13 09:15:38

But the doctor is not going to say that they need squash are they?

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Jul-13 10:16:38

The main reason they stipulate water only is because sipping anything constantly through out the day (even sugar free squash) will RUIN teeth!

Schools make me so angry my DD was repeatedly pulled up on the shoes she wore as she has problems with walking. School punished her daily for months, pointing out her disability in front of all her class mates, this lead to her being called a spastic and her self harming. I had the doctor back me up, but as I was paying off my fathers funeral, I couldn't afford the doctors letter and the school wouldn't accept the phone call from doctor.

OP, if you can, get a doctors letter and tell the head, in future do not have meetings with DS without you being present, ofc he will agree with her whilst in a room alone with a head bullying him into agreeing.
Isn't it more important that your DS is in school, well and learning and as some week juice to drink and not home with painful migraines, missing his education!

Btw, I was a water refuser as a child, I would pass out from dehydration regularly. Feel for your dc OP.

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Jul-13 10:35:40

Lemon/citrus also isn't a great idea! The water becomes acidic & that acidic water is constantly washing over the teeth. Now & again it is OK, but for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, NOT a good idea!

He will end up with bad teeth if he sips squash/acidic water for a large amount of the time.

RoooneyMara Fri 05-Jul-13 10:40:13

Nutty,

I think from the look of it this thread has delved into the regions of 'argue with the OP for the sake of it on any minor point'

I would abandon it

You've done nothing wrong

the school is a shower of arseholes

Take confort in the fact there's only a year left...I have one in y5 too. You are doing nOTHING wrong x

I can empathise with the OP, because I have a Y6 DC with a similar problem - the other way around.

Following campaigns from the children (based, I think on the "we won't drink enough unless we can drink squash" principle), they have jugs of squash on the tables at lunchtime, drinks taken out on to the pitch during matches are squash, drinks provided next to the classroom at break are - you guessed it - squash. OP's DS would love it.

DS will not drink squash. He hates it. He is massively stubborn. He will go without a drink rather than have squash, and ends up dehydrated. Whilst he doesn't get migraines, even slight dehydration drastically affects his mood and he becomes very short tempered. Going a whole 10 hour day without a drink (including 2 hours of sport) is not good.

I know that there are always ways to get water, and I have tried playing the "you have to make the effort" card with him but he is a 10yo boy, and if it's not easy, or makes him different from his friends, then he won't do it. I have tried to tell him to drink the squash anyway, but he just will not. It drives me nuts and I get the "precious parent" hmm from school when I raise it.

So, OP, you have my sympathy.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 11:58:17

There must have been a point when he did drink water, as a baby and toddler. When did he first start refusing it? That would have been the best time to phase out the squash. This could have all been sorted out years ago

From BIRTH DD would only have BM. When I started weaning her she refused any other milk or water. She was hospitalised a number of times.

I was advised to give her 'smoothies' in place of milk by the doctors, she drank them with gusto. We slowly diluted the amount of smoothie with water as she got older until she was drinking diluted pure juice. We tried diluting that further - she stopped drinking again and was hospitalised again.

We moved to Cyprus. Pre-school said water or nothing. We tried everything - DD would not budge. We started sending her with 500ml bottles of very diluted squash. It all came to a head when we discovered that Pre-School had been pouring this away and telling her that it was water, or nothing, against our wishes. It turned out that DD had drank nothing for 3 or 4 days in 40 degree heat (we were refusing squash at home, trying to be 'harsh' to force her to drink water, because we thought the Pre-School were following our wishes)

She was hospitalised again this time for 3 days on a fluid drip - the first day she spent mostly unconscious.

DON'T try to tell me that a water refuser will eventually drink it. You have NO idea.

titchy Fri 05-Jul-13 12:04:22

I bet if you gave him a pound every day he managed to drink the entire water bottle he'd hydrate himself pretty quickly. hmm

RaisinBoys Fri 05-Jul-13 12:28:47

Not many 10 year olds "like" water!

He's old enough to know that if he doesn't drink water he will get ill.

Tell him to drink the water...to literally suck it up!

I doubt teachers have so much time that they would seek out your child to check his water bottle.

I would really save my righteous indignation for a time when there really is a problem.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 12:34:15

I agree that the most difficult point will be to get the doctor's letter to say anything useful: he can clearly argue that dehydration is a medical issue but the squash thing is harder.

Perhaps he could phrase it something like this: "Naturally, the question about squash v water is not a medical issue in the same sense, but given the severity of NutCrackerds's problems and the risk that his education will be compromised through frequent migraine-related absences, I would still, as a medical professional, recommend that he should be allowed weak squash for the time being."

They will read that thing about absences and think "EWO, Ofsted, league tables".

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 12:37:27

At 10yo he is not old enough to make good decisions about managing his own health.

Nagoo Fri 05-Jul-13 12:48:28

I'd give him water.

'All the fuss over a cm of squash' works two ways.

Not liking water is not a medical reason. It's a preference.

He's not a toddler. He's old enough to drink water if he is thirsty.

Voodika Fri 05-Jul-13 12:56:50

As a teacher I would not want a lot if sticky squash bottles around my classroom.
Squash isn't great for children's teeth and a constant drip feed of sugar can't be that healthy.
If I were you encourage him to drink water and suggest to the school that he leaves some cartons of drink in the office to drink at break times, just as you would do for any other medical issues ( snacks for diabetics etc).

insanityscratching Fri 05-Jul-13 13:01:22

stealth dd is also a squash/juice refuser, she's never drank it and won't even consider tasting it. I had to ask school to allow her access to water because it's squash at lunchtimes etc. They did look a bit hmm because I don't think there are many refuse Dd has got wise now and so takes her own water bottle into the dining room and to sports events rather than having to rely on someone remembering maybe your ds could do the same.

chocoholic05 Fri 05-Jul-13 13:04:27

My boys aged 5 and 7 have always had water in their water bottles. If they have ever questioned it which is rare I just say that's why it's called a water bottle. However since starting school (they are in years two and reception) they have both asked if they can have squash in their bottles as other children do. I always say no because what's the point when they have always been happy to drink water. They dromk squash at home sometimes as well as water. Last week I told my reception child that he's not allowed to take squash to school he came out at home time and told me you are allowed to mummy I asked my teacher!

If it was that simple do you not think the op would have done it?

This isn't a child having a strop. This isn't a power trip with a toddler , I'm usually the first to say go cold turkey. I have no problem taking things away. Or dealing with ghe whining and complaining.BUT suggesting that she just takes it away when the result could well be extreme debilitating pain resulting missed school and need for heavy medication (on a still small developing body ) it's not the answer to just take it away. Yeah he may be fine, or he may make himself really sick. It's not us dealing with it. I think some sympathy wouldn't go amiss rather than criticising a decisions he made years ago. No one says to themselves I better not allow squash ever just in case they suffer from migraines and need to drink more Than most people.

insanity, you would think.... I have given him a water bottle (lives in his cricket bag, never gets filled) and suggested he has another in school ("no, I can't, you don't understand anything, no one does that, I'll be fine with no water... ")

Gah. Medium sized boys - who'd have 'em? hmm

On the occasions when I make it watch a cricket match, I take a water bottle with me which he grabs and downs in one hmm angry

rrbrigi Fri 05-Jul-13 13:18:21

Hi,

I have not read all of the answers, but my opinion is if none is allergic to squash in the school, than it is up to you if you give it to your child or not. You are the mother and you buy the food for your child, you are the one who is responsible for his health.

My son is so tiny and he does not eat well. So I think he needs a bit more sugary and fatty foods (next to healthy foods) than other children to be able to put on weight. So the first time I sent a chocolate pancake into the school with him, he ate it, but told me that they not allowed bringing chocolate in the school. Also I give him brioche with chocolate chips. He told me the same that they are not allowed to bring these types of things to school. I told him if he likes it he can eat it even in the school and if someone tells him off, he needs to tell it to me. Then I will go and ask the school who is paying for my son food me or them? Who is responsible for his health me or them?

I think you do not even need to explain why you prefer squash instead of water, until you won’t risk your child health. And this situation is not a risk at all.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 13:19:40

I have the same problem with my DD8 who is susceptible to kidney infections and needs to drink large amounts particularly in hot weather.
The school moaned about it for the same reasons but I said I would send it in an opaque bottle so the others wouldn't know and they were happy with that.

Zara75 Fri 05-Jul-13 14:01:30

I totally understand your point, just one suggestion, make sure that the squash you use is free of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame as they are linked to migraine. Funny enough, sugar is better after all...

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 15:02:27

when my DD was in hospital with a kidney infection do you think they insisted she drink water instead of squash?

Can he not have a bottle/carton of juice/juice drink every breaktime, and two in his lunch? And a leetle bit of water the rest of the time?

The other children are not going to complain if it is explained to them why - my ds2 has juice and biscuits in lessontime in school and the entire class of 5yos can tell you it is because his pancreas doesn't work!

lljkk Fri 05-Jul-13 15:10:16

Except sugar rots teeth. Can't win.

PeterParkerSays Fri 05-Jul-13 15:29:12

OP, could you go in for another chat with the head teacher and explain that you want to get DS on side with this but need time to do so, then gradually reduce the concentration of squash in his drink a little bit each week / add extra ice cubes when it's hot etc. until he's eventually drinking pure water?

It would take time though, and school would have to recognisethat you're trying to find a solution to this issue and agree to working with you on it. Could they have a prize for the class where everyone drinks a glass of water each, every lesson, for a week, for example?

working9while5 Fri 05-Jul-13 15:35:05

I am with rrbji. FFS, this country is NUTS. Parents' choice to have weak squash as far as I am concerned. Pulling kids into the Head's office for having squash in their water bottle? Not surprised this thread is in Primary Education though.... there are always ridiculous responses to any parent that isn't arse kissing the teachers Who Do The Hardest Job In The World who couldn't possibly be expected to . There are always a few. Thankfully most teachers seem more sane than this in RL but the nutters seem to congregate on this board.

Stropzilla Fri 05-Jul-13 16:10:14

I'm a migraine sufferer, have been since age 5. Taken pizotofen and all the rest. Made no difference. I too have to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water. I know another poster said aspartame doesn't cause them, well it does with me. So does yeast Barley egg whites soya and milk! I had years of tracking these foods down and had a food intolerance test done. The test confirmed a lot of what I knew and flagged up some I didn't.

Do consider a food allergy test. Don't do an exclusion diet as they can take months. I lived on chicken rice and veg while I worked some of mine out. The hot weather can do me in, as does the air pressure when it rains! If there's a storm I will get a migraine. I've lost 2 jobs due to the frequency of them so believe me when I say that changing my diet was the best thing ever.

With regards to the school and not drinking water I would say he does need to learn. Dining nothing but squash long term will not help him. If he's agreed with the school to try then support that. Try a compromise with them and try to wean him off the squash if possible. As I've got older my migraines have got worse and I would drink or easy anything to avoid them. Your son will feel the same eventually. Sorry for the long post. I just needed to explain about the food being a major issue for me.

Ilovesunflowers Fri 05-Jul-13 16:24:46

OP your son is old enough to understand he needs to drink water. Rules are there for a reason. Allow one to drink squash and more parents start 'sneaking' it into bottles. It's your job as a parent to say 'tough luck. You need to drink the water to stop you getting a migraine.'

wheresthebeach Fri 05-Jul-13 18:09:05

It's a preference for sugary squash not a medical requirement. Sorry while I sympathise that he'd prefer squash you can only claim that the medical requirement is access to something to drink. If he demanded hot chocolate you would send that in? If he needs to stay hydrated then getting him into the habit of drinking water would be a good thing.

Bunbaker Fri 05-Jul-13 18:39:01

For goodness sake. There is so much self righteous smuggery on here.

Not all children do as they are told

If it was that easy don't you think the OP would have already managed to get her child to drink water? DD gets really bad headaches - usually because she hasn't had enough to eat or drink during the school day. I hate seeing her in pain. Fortunately she will drink water, but if she didn't I would go down the squash route as well. She is at high school now so she can get soft drinks in school anyway.

dangly131 Fri 05-Jul-13 18:59:28

rrbrigi...well done on successfully teaching your child to disobey teachers and that there is no reason to show them respect.

Chocovore Fri 05-Jul-13 19:03:06

Ridiculous! The benefit of being hydrated and avoiding migraines far outweighs the disadvantages of some weak squash.

EduCated Fri 05-Jul-13 19:05:42

Hates water? Who the frig hates water?

I don't hate it as such now, certainly did until the age of about 20. It's still my last resort of a drink.

landofsoapandglory Fri 05-Jul-13 19:38:22

I'm a frequent migraine sufferer (am currently waiting for Botox on the NHS) and DS1(18)suffered from Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome which turned in to migraines. We drink loads of water. DS1 always has water in his hand, the only 'squash' that he drinks is Ribena and that is very, very infrequently. I drink fizzy water (17p for a 2 litre bottle from Tesco) because I prefer it to still water.

We cut all other squashes out of our diets because they trigger migraines. Oranges are a known trigger too, I can't drink fresh orange. Have you tried keeping a food diary? It is really useful to see what actually triggers them.

It is hellish suffering from migraines, but you do need to help yourself and your DS needs to understand that. DS1 started suffering at a very young age, he knew what he had to do to prevent them. MY DB had migraine as a child triggered by chocolate. From the age of 5 he didn't eat it, and he knew he couldn't have it. Kids do understand when they have to.

working9while5 Fri 05-Jul-13 20:00:52

"rrbrigi...well done on successfully teaching your child to disobey teachers and that there is no reason to show them respect."

hmm

Yes. Suggesting that a parent might have a bit more agency over their child's nutritional intake than a teacher is the first step on the road to threatening the teacher with a knife.

Honestly.

Fairenuff Fri 05-Jul-13 20:09:18

What a pathetic problem this is. All these children dehydrating because they won't drink. Ignoring their parents' instructions and their teachers' advice. Suffering migraines and kidney infections and constipation.

All for the lack of water.

You would think that they lived in a place where they had to walk two miles to collect it in a bucket. Thousands of people would be so grateful for clean tap water.

This thread has highlighted how spoiled and ungrateful some of us are in this country. Turning our noses up at a bit of water. What a fuss. What a disgrace sad

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 20:14:52

Oh do give over fairenuff, are you really suggesting my water refusing NEWBORN was 'spoiled' and 'ungrateful'. Really? Give your head a shake lovey.

Fairenuff Fri 05-Jul-13 20:18:28

Newborns can drink milk. But when they move on to the next stage, if water was the only thing available, that's what they would drink.

mrz Fri 05-Jul-13 20:18:56

biscuit we aren't talking about newborns were are talking about a TEN YEAR OLD

curlew Fri 05-Jul-13 20:22:32

Well if we're treating 10 year olds the same as we treat new borns we have even bigger problems.........

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 20:35:44

Fairenuff posted earlier that there MUST have been a point at which he DID drink water. I replied to that post giving my personal experience of having a child that NEVER drank water. From birth. I gave a quite detailed account of what can happen when you try to force a child into drinking water.

For fairenuff to read that and then post about 'spoiled' children was rather 'off' and more than a little silly. But I see she has further posted in the same vein - bloody good job she's not a doctor in that case...

Funny really, the number of times when my DD was hospitalised - not ONCE did the medical professionals try to force her to 'only have water - in fact the very FIRST time she has squash was in hospital...up till then I had concentrated on giving her diluted pure juice. The medical professionals concentrated on FLUID not a SPECIFIC fluid.

OP may find that her GP feels the same (as did the doctors in Cyprus who made the pre-school change its rules smile)

dangly131 Fri 05-Jul-13 20:37:06

working9while5...yeah telling a child to disobey leads to knife welding incidents did you not know? How about ppl teach a child to follow the rules instead of whinging when they get told off because they were encouraged to break the rules. The rules that were there when said parents decided that they wanted to send their child to that school. The ones they were told about during their induction or in the prospectus. The ones that the majority of parents can cope with. The ones that the minority think doesn't apply to them!

I get migraines. Have gotten them since I was 2.

Hunger and thirst are triggers for me too. I knew this as a child but would still refuse to eat and drink and end up with a migraine. And I never drank more than a sip of water til I was pregnant, can't stand it, still can't.

Saying 'hes 10 and should do x' is pointless, he's a child, if he doesn't like the drink he'll avoid drinking it, he doesn't have the maturity to think through consequences

heggiehog Fri 05-Jul-13 20:51:44

Can't believe the sense of entitlement. Children who "can't" drink water. Whatever next.

Bunbaker Fri 05-Jul-13 21:06:35

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Insert 10 year old instead of horse.

Heggie, people who like water never believe me but water does taste horrible to some people.

I'll drink it if I'm parched but I'll avoid it unless stuck, and even then I'll only drink a sip.

The ops son needs ti drink large amounts of fluid, if he doesn't like water he'll only drink the bare minimum which isn't enough to keep him healthy.

curlew Fri 05-Jul-13 22:21:59

Look, he can have squash before he goes into school, presumably juice or squash at break and in his lunchbox, and squash when he comes out of school. All the school is asking is that the bottle he drinks out of during lessons has water in it. He is being denied access to squash for a whole 90 minutes or so at a time. Call the European Court of Human Rights!

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Fri 05-Jul-13 22:26:14

I know several children who were offered squash very young because they didn't like water.

Years later, they still don't like water. Funny that.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 05-Jul-13 22:32:59

I kind of agree with Curlew. I can see that it's not as simple as saying 'make him have water' but I can also see that its not reasonable for a teacher to put up with sticky squash around the classroom, all the parents complaining that exemptions are being made without medical need (in the sense that the medical need is for water, and the squash thing is not directly medical), etc, etc.

Surely ways could be found to make squash available at more acceptable times - break, lunch - without it being on tap all day?

heggiehog Fri 05-Jul-13 22:49:18

I didn't like water as a child. I wasn't given squash. I drank water.

It's not difficult.

I didn't. I went whole days without any liquid. And then ended up puking ill with a migraine.

Not all kids are wired the same way.

Two of my kids will happily drink water, they even request it over other drinks. The third won't, at all. If I give him a drink he doesn't like (for instance his movicol which he's currently refusing) he'll go all day without a drop of liquid. Now medicine is one thing, I can stand over him and bully/bribe the dose into him mixed with very little water and give him a drink of squash when he's downed it. But that's not an option for getting liquid into a child at school when the school are refusing remind the child to drink, and aren't allowing a drink he'll drink voluntarily.

Actually OP I think you need to discuss that aspect with the head. Our teachers are fanatical about insisting the children have tonnes of drinks and will constantly remind them to drink, especially in hot weather or when they exercise. DS1 often runs out (despite bring a litre of water/squash daily!) and they refill his cup to make sure he always has a drink on him. DD doesn't drink enough usually but her teacher gets almost a litre a day into her by constantly reminding them to take sips.

Bunbaker Fri 05-Jul-13 23:45:17

My nephew never cared for water and he often used to nod off at his desk in primary school because he was dehydrated.

stillstanding29 Fri 05-Jul-13 23:54:26

They r obliged to take "reasonable steps"so as not to disadvantage your son. Its part of disability rights legislation. They are disadvantaging him if they don't take reasonable steps to accommodate his medical needs - I'd say drinking squash was pretty reasonable.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 06-Jul-13 07:33:48

My experience is in the employment version of disability discrimination law, but I'd be careful about arguing reasonable adjustments. The medical need is for plenty of liquids, not for squash. The school isn't preventing his fulfilling his medical needs from a medical perspective. It could easily be argued that the refusal to drink water is a behavioural or personal preference issue and not part of the disability per se, and I could see how that argument could succeed in a tribunal. Also, despite the way schools tend to behave these days, there is actually no need for a child to constantly, constantly drink. The need to drink proper amounts could also be fulfilled by a big drink before school, squash at break, squash at lunch and after school. We are only talking very short gaps each time if the school compromise on squash at break time.

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 07:58:11

grin at "reasonable adjustment" to drink squash!

kelda Sat 06-Jul-13 08:39:09

We used to have disgusting plastic cups to drink out of at school. With black slime at the bottom.

At least my children can take their own water bottles to school. We use the Sigg bottles.

MadeOfStarDust Sat 06-Jul-13 09:04:56

If it is a medical need you can always turn up at school with his "medicinal squash drink" every hour - or how often you feel it is necessary ...

spanieleyes Sat 06-Jul-13 09:11:01

Actually, if it is a medical need , most schools are only allowed to medicate children with doctor prescribed medication rather than over the counter remedies. So you would need squash with a prescription label on it for it to be administered.

MadeOfStarDust Sat 06-Jul-13 09:26:13

But if it is a medical need a parent can ask for their child to be taken to the office and the parent can administer their "medicinal squash" as often as needed.

spanieleyes Sat 06-Jul-13 09:31:49

Problem solved!!

mrz Sat 06-Jul-13 09:57:30

I think it's a great idea grin

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 10:12:29

I have a friend who's a GP. She could make a fortune writing private prescriptions for precious parents. Squash, nome made cake for break time snacks.........

ShaggingZumbaStylee Sat 06-Jul-13 10:17:36

can he drink squash at break/lunch? drink loads then from lunch box

lljkk Sat 06-Jul-13 10:53:04

a parent can ask for their child to be taken to the office and the parent can administer their "medicinal squash" as often as needed.

you're joking right?, presumably Nutty has own life not time to pop into the school 6x a day, and anyway, her son needs to have lots of small drinks thru the day or lots at short notice, not constantly going out of class to get a drink.

This is not that unusual at DC school, 2 children I know of who had permission to drink squash had kidney issues, it was literally life or death whether they drank enough, they weren't old enough to make that decision. One of them turned into the most arsey 11yo you ever met, and he wasn't mature enough to figure out what was good for him either. If Nutty's DS doesn't drink enough he gets a day off school, bonus in the mind of most 10yo boys.

mumteacher Sat 06-Jul-13 11:11:02

My little one is on a medical trial. He needs to drink a certain amount of water everyday. The trial is not endorsed by our hp so he wouldn't write a consent letter. I made a chart that is kept in his bag and everyday at certain times the teacher has to make sure my dc has drank water. I send in a water bottle and a plastic glass. My do is not allowed to drink out of the bottle otherwise he would just take 2 sips! The teacher has to pour the water into the glass I send and he finishes it.

Working so far x

MrRected Sat 06-Jul-13 11:21:05

yaking the school out of the equation. I cannot understand any child who refuses to drink water. Just say no squash and you have to have a small cup of water each hour. No discussion. The onus is on you to get your child to do whatever is necessary to manage their condition.

My DS has epilepsy with associated abdomninal migraine. Dehydration is definitely a trigger, as is sugar/sucrose. He isn't fond of water but its what is best for him.

I probably sound intolerant but I think that parenting sometimes involves making hard decisions. DS has to take 12 tablets a day - which at 8 years old he hates. They stop his seizures so he doesn't have a choice. The same with water.

Chandon Sat 06-Jul-13 11:21:26

My 10 year old gets migraines, for him not eating is a bigger trigger than not drinking.

Still, when the weather turns hot I worry about dehydration.

He loves juice, water and squash but I often give him water at home, so he gets used to the fact that not every drink is a "treat". It then became more normal to drink water when thirsty. And he knows to drink water at school.

Sometimes he forgets to eat or drink, and I get the call from the school to pick up a vomiting little bundle of misery.

but at 10 he is old enough to start taking a bit of responsibility for his own wellbeing.

I am sure your DS could start getting used to water, start at home, and maybe at school they could help by reminding him to drink?

Bunbaker Sat 06-Jul-13 11:24:40

" I cannot understand any child who refuses to drink water."

Because you have never met a child that obstinate. Believe me, they do exist.
How do you force a child to drink water? Can you advise the OP?

Another example is when DD was little. She was a poor eater. I got sick and tired of people telling me that she would eat when she was hungry. Wrong! She was on the 2nd centile for ages because she just wasn't interested in eating. Making her miss a meal because she didn't like what was offered wasn't an option because she was so skinny.

spanieleyes Sat 06-Jul-13 11:25:35

Sorry, but I have a 9 year old boy in my class that has to inject his medication three times a day at school or he will be seriously ill, even die. Does he like doing it? No of course not. But he knows that if he doesn't he will become ill so he has little option.
Drinking water rather than squash pales into comparison.

MrRected Sat 06-Jul-13 11:32:35

Oh I have the most obstinate 12 year old known to man. I have an equally obstinate 6 year old. My 8 year old who has to take 84 tablets a week is marginally less so.

I don't run a democracy.

MissAnnersley Sat 06-Jul-13 11:33:18

I think it's reasonable of the school to expect the pupil to drink water but it is also perfectly reasonable for a parent to do everything they can to alleviate their child's symptoms.

I would speak to the school again, agree that you will support them by sending your son in with a water bottle. I would then ask that they support you by allowing your son to have juice at the office available if he is struggling.

In this much warmer weather the teacher or school could possibly promote drinking water, staying safe in the sun etc to support your efforts.

MrRected Sat 06-Jul-13 11:33:51

Spaniel - it appears where there is a genuine medical need the meds/water/diet are achievable.

MrRected Sat 06-Jul-13 11:36:23

My constructive advice to the op would be to set start on a weekend. Set a timer - every hour get the child to drink a small cup of water (125ml per hour is more than a sufficient for a child).

Explain to the child that the alternative - pills/injections/the pain of horrendous headaches were the alternative.

MissAnnersley Sat 06-Jul-13 11:39:05

That's a good idea mrrected.

MaybeBentley Sat 06-Jul-13 11:53:34

If a child gets a migraine from low blood sugar levels, but doesn't like fruit / cereal bars that are part of the school's agreed snacks would you ask for a chocolate bar instead? And before people start questioning chocolate/migraine link - my family all suffer from migraines and we have tested that chocolate is not a trigger; it isn't as cut and dried as chocolate, cheese, caffeine, etc.

lljkk Sat 06-Jul-13 11:59:32

MrRected: I assume you hold him down screaming and shove the pill down his throat several times a day, right? I mean, what else would you do with a child who refused?

curlew Sat 06-Jul-13 12:00:48

This is not about break time snacks or lunch boxes. It's about the water bottles that children have so they can drink whenever they want while in lessons.

As I said, we're talking about denying a child access to squash for a whole 90 minutes at a time.........

Fairenuff Sat 06-Jul-13 12:15:07

If a child gets a migraine from low blood sugar levels, but doesn't like fruit / cereal bars that are part of the school's agreed snacks would you ask for a chocolate bar instead?

That has actually happened in my school Maybe. Except cereal bars are not allowed at break, it's fruit or nothing. The parent insisted that the child had to have an alternative snack because he wouldn't eat fruit or veg. But the head said no and stuck to it.

MrRected Sat 06-Jul-13 12:22:29

No Ljkk I don't have to hold him down. He cries and objects but ultimately has no choice. When a condition truly cannot go without medication/dietary intervention (eg Coeliac disease) - the treatment is a fact of life. There are no choices.

He takes his meds because - even at 8 years old - he recognises that it's better than having numerous seizures every day. If I made it optional - you could bet your last pound that he would play up far more than he does.

My heart breaks for him. Perhaps I am a little intolerant of special cases which aren't that special .

Floggingmolly Sat 06-Jul-13 12:27:26

MaybeBently. It's exactly the same principle, is it not? confused
Fruit or cereal bars would be quite sufficient to stave off the migrane, child is not actually allergic to either option, but would prefer chocolate...
Why should the school pander to this? If you feel so strongly that they should, try getting a doctor's letter "prescribing" chocolate as a medical must have. Good luck.

MaybeBentley Sat 06-Jul-13 12:30:23

Yes Floggingmolly, that was the point I was trying to make.

Floggingmolly Sat 06-Jul-13 12:35:01

Oh God, sorry! blush. Thought you were discussing an actual real life scenario

MaybeBentley Sat 06-Jul-13 12:41:28

Probably trying too hard not to be confrontational, Molly!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 06-Jul-13 13:42:38

I think it is probably also worth bearing in mind that no child (or adult from that matter) should be sipping squash throughout the day. The constant sugar wash is incredibly bad for teeth, and particularly serious given that we'll be talking about many adult teeth (can't remember what age you lose your final milk teeth).

Any child who is refusing to drink water even if they will become ill (and I'm willing to accept that happens from people's stories, rather than because I have personal experience) is, by 10, going to need to learn that it will then have to be larger drinks in one go rather than small sips every few minutes.

MaryKatharine Sat 06-Jul-13 21:13:43

If the child has a learning difficulty such as Asd then there is a case for allowing the squash as despite his age, he may have difficulty equating his actions with the consequences. Therefore, if LD are in play then there the OP may not be unreasonable.

However, if the child does not have additional needs then there is no medical need for the squash. There is certainly a medical need for fluid intake but that isn't the same thing.

How come very young diabetic children can manage to inject themselves to avoid serious consequences yet this child cannot? I don't for one minute think they 'like' jabbing themselves with a needle. Yet they get on and do it because they know how important it is. And well before 10yrs old.

My DS2 who has ASD doesn't drink water. I 'hide' squash in his plastic water bottle every day. I don't care about breaking school rules in this case. (What a rebel) If I still gave him water it would come home undrunk every day.

Can I recommend Robinson's Apple and Pear squash? In a school issued water bottle, not completely clear, slightly more translucent than transparent, it is disguised completely. It does contain aspartame, though. Nobody has sniffed it, (eeww) though but he drinks it all in one go and has never spilt it.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 06:59:08

My ASD son was put on a full exclusion diet by his paediatrician and learnt to drink water

MrButtercat Sun 07-Jul-13 08:02:58

I only like my dc to drink water but have to say they don't.Had a real go last week as dt1's wee stank and dd has had bladder infections which not drinking enough can help to cause.

Our school don't care so occasionally I send in squash as a treat- bottle comes back drained,water bottles come back half full every time however much I nag.

Has op tried stainless steel bottles- you don't get the plasticky taste with water or ask if you can compromise with real juice water cartons.

MrButtercat Sun 07-Jul-13 08:03:33

Doesn't

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 09:15:46

We have chilled filtered water on tap in school perhaps that helps but no one complains

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Jul-13 11:19:31

DDs school has NO water fountains at all. Drinking water is ONLY from the bottles that the children bring in themselves. Bottles HAVE to be bought from the school office, no 'own' bottles allowed. There are no cold areas or fridges the kids can use. Juice cartons are allowed, but only at lunchtime.

I send DD to school with her water bottle full of chilled, bottled water. It comes back at 3pm luke warm, stale and untouched. I tried freezing the bottles so that it defrosted over the day - the bottle split.

We are in a hard water area and tap ways tastes metallic to me. I won't drink it without something to mask the taste, let alone DD.

She doesn't drink at all during the day. She has a smoothie before school. A carton at lunchtime and DH meets her at 3pm with a 500 ml bottle of either diluted apple juice, smoothie or squash that she finishes in the 10 minute drive from school to home. I still think she 'slightly' dehydrates, and if it is particularly hot I will pack 2 juice cartons in her lunch, both of which she will drink.

I feel for OP. Its very hard having a child that WON'T drink water when schools are so inflexible about it. But having a child that becomes ill as a consequence must be much worse.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 11:34:24
MrRected Sun 07-Jul-13 11:38:34

Lteve - you could buy a purifier?

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Jul-13 11:41:13

DD has numerous sports bottles, but school doesn't allow anything other than the cheap plasticy crap ones they bulk buy and sell to parents. Like THESE

On holiday we take the metal ones that stay cool longer - along with a large bottle of squash for diluting (most AIs only provide water or fizzy stuff for kids, DD doesn't do either).

Fairenuff Sun 07-Jul-13 11:45:29

LtEve did you realise that that link names the school? Just mentioning it as I'm not sure if you wanted that information on this forum. You can ask MNHQ to delete the post if you want.

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Jul-13 11:53:15

Thanks, but not our school. I just googled 'school drinks bottles images' and that was the first link that showed the bottles DDs school uses. I think they are pretty universal tbh.

Cheers anyway.

Fairenuff Sun 07-Jul-13 12:12:53

Ah ok smile

colditz Sun 07-Jul-13 12:16:21

Those water bottles aren't crap, they are really good. Flexible enough not to shatter, strong enough not to collapse, dishwasher safe and easily labeled, with a wide enough neck to add ice.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 12:52:15

I wonder how teachers would react if they were told they were not allowed tea or coffee, or biscuits, in the staffroom? I do think a "Healthy School" should have a water and milk-only policy for absolutely everyone, not just the children. grin

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Jul-13 12:53:52

Yeah, DC's school used to have those and they are FAB. [Unlike the new ones which are truly terrible and whose tops break every 5 minutes].

We half fill with water / half ice and they're fine.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 12:54:42

But the children's equivalent of the staff room is lunch time- and they can have squash or juice then. It's only the 90 minutes or so at a time when hey are in class they have to have water.

Feenie Sun 07-Jul-13 12:54:54

Same way if you told me i had to wear school uniform, rabbitstew.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 12:59:35

Good idea, Feenie.

What?! Children allowed squash at lunchtime?!!! Why not allow it in the classroom, then? Would it result in too many children drinking?

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 13:00:43

Tea seems to be consumed at break times, too.

Feenie Sun 07-Jul-13 13:03:31

My ds's school only allows water at lunchtimes too.

No one cares. That's just how it is.

colditz Sun 07-Jul-13 13:28:50

The reason many schools give is that if the bottles contain squash, she children drink constantly, bathing their mouths in acidic fruit flavouring.

It's not healthy, is it? Just be firm. They can't hate water if they aren't ever given anything else to drink. At ten, I expect ds1 to drink his water. I don't expect him to REMEMBER, but that's because he has sn. I expect him to drink it when reminded.

Schmedz Sun 07-Jul-13 13:29:11

OP, does the school allow a carton of juice/smoothie drink at break times? If so send a few in each day and the hydration issue should be sorted! Obviously you wont want to use 'juice drink' which is mainly sugar and water, but there are natural juices you can get in cartons.

My daughter is ASD and extremely averse to drinking water so I sympathise with your difficulties in trying to make your son understand and act on the importance of drinking water. She is in secondary school and still struggles to get through a negligible amount of water in a day!

I would also seriously question whether drinking squash is in fact contributing to the migraines. The food industry has a lot to answer for by suggesting that 'sugar free' is somehow a healthier option. In fact, any food or drink which is sugar free is artificially sweetened with chemicals, the most odious of which is aspartame which is clinically linked to causing ill health through migraines, lethargy and obesity. One woman in the US was diagnosed with MS, and when she cut out artificial sweeteners from her diet her symptoms completely disappeared. Aspartame is linked to all sorts of immune difficulties also. Do a google search on the effects and you will almost certainly avoid any thing 'sugar free' again! This is obviously irrelevant if you are already using some of the (rare) natural sugar squashes available.

Would your son consider diluted fruit juice at home? My daughter will only drink pineapple juice, which I have gradually diluted more and more over time so that she effectively drinks 2/3 water and 1/3 juice...she cannot tolerate full strength juice any longer because it now seems far too strong in flavour for her. Hopefully the day will come when water becomes palatable, but until then it is better than nothing.

I can understand the school sticking to their policy that water is the only acceptable drink in a bottle that is used in the classroom, but hopefully they will be reasonable about allowing other beverages in the playground!

Good luck to you and your DS.

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Jul-13 13:36:14

Maybe we've just got a bad batch then colditz and teacher? The ones we have have got purple colour tops, but are identical otherwise. The school charges £1.50 a bottle.

When I tried to freeze bottled water the bottle just split. They also taste very plasticy and DD has to pull so hard to get the cap bit to open I'm convinced she'll pull her teeth out one day! We used to use them at home for juice, but the bottle keeps the taste of it no matter how well washed.

So now she's got one that she takes to school, doesn't use at all and still looks immaculate - but hey, it keeps the teachers happy even if she doesn't actually drink anything!

We'll just carry on as we are, DD isn't suffering, but I still think its a bit shit for OPs DS.

Ilovesunflowers Sun 07-Jul-13 14:16:27

I wonder how teachers would react if they were told they were not allowed tea or coffee, or biscuits, in the staffroom? I do think a "Healthy School" should have a water and milk-only policy for absolutely everyone, not just the children.

Some schools do have this policy. My last school did. Staff were allowed tea and coffee at lunch time only. We were expected to have a water bottle the same as the children for the rest of the day. The only time we were allowed biscuits in the staffroom or sweet treats was for someone's birthday.

As for the link to the above water bottles. They are good water bottles. Strong, easily labelled, can be easily put in the school dishwasher and you can see if they are going a bit manky as they are clear. No problem with those bottles.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 14:20:49

Can I ask rabbitstew What's a break time? some days I don't have time to visit the loo never mind drink tea or water

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Jul-13 14:34:02

DDs teacher always has a 'proper' coffee on the go. The classroom smells gorgeous smile

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 14:53:57

We aren't allowed hot drinks where there are children ... I usually make a cup of tea around 8am as I'm setting up the classroom and sometimes I get to drink it at 5:30 before I go home

eddiemairswife Sun 07-Jul-13 15:14:01

In the olden days we never had drinks at school apart from the [disgusting] 1/3 pt of milk at break and a jug of water on the table at lunchtime, although there was often some bright spark who'd put salt in it 'for fun'. We also spent every available minute lying on the school field 'getting brown'. As far as I can remember no one collapsed with dehydration or got burnt.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 15:42:41

strange that wink

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 15:47:46

It is bizarre. Based on no scientific evidence at all,( and before you all pile in and say there's loads of evidence, just try looking for some) children now are expected to drink practically continuously. And their parents think their human rights are being abused if they have to go for any period of time at all without constant access to drinks. As I always say on threads like this, I wish I had invested in a mineral water company in the 1990s.

colditz Sun 07-Jul-13 16:12:01

Eddiemairswife, I regularly got burnt, and at least once a year collapsed with dehydration provoked heatstroke. This was in the eighties. Just because you were ok, doesn't mean all other children were.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 16:18:29

I was regularly burnt to a frazzle in the 60s and 70s.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 16:18:32

I assume from the milk reference Eddiemairswife if talking about the 60s

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 17:05:20

mrz - break time is any time where you have a break from the kids... It doesn't have to be non-working time. Your school sounds understaffed if even at lunchtime you are supervising children and unable to have a drink or food. Two form entry schools most definitely have enough teachers and other available staff that there is a bit of time for a cup of tea and some lunch during the day. There ought to be drinking fountains available, too, which do not take long to take a quick drink from. And if you had a beaker of water in the classroom like the children, I'm sure you'd have time to swig from it every so often. Just make sure it doesn't contain anything more energy giving than water, because you'll rot your teeth or get hyperactive. smile

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 17:12:19

I remember getting milk every day at school in the late 70s - little glass bottles with pink straws. I don't think they stopped that for young primary school aged children (5-7 year olds?) as early as the '60s. If they did, they forgot to tell my primary school.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 07-Jul-13 17:14:54

Actually I had milk like that in the early 80s (not sure at what point parents started paying for it). No salt on the tables at lunch though!

MaybeBentley Sun 07-Jul-13 17:21:26

Our drinking fountains were removed as they were deemed unhygienic. The taps for drinking water are clearly signposted throughout the school instead. Children refill their water bottle when ever they need to or borrow a cup if they've forgotten their bottle.
I think your definition of break time is different to the primary teachers on here rabbit. They think of a break as being when they are not actually working. I'm sure teachers do swig from water bottles just like the children can. My children's school do and send the children all for a drink from their bottle as soon as they get in from playtime, and they have their bottles on their table so they can drink when they need to. Hence the need for it to be water to make spills easier; less damage to books, easier to clean up, not encouraging ants, etc. The teachers see it as setting a good role model in the classroom, but it doesn't mean they can't drink what they want in the staff room. All the concerns about non-water drinks can be negated there.
If you are going down the "same rules for staff as children" route, regardless of the fact they are employees, how do you feel about same rules for prison officers as inmates? Same analogy stretched a bit further!

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 17:38:32

MaybeBentley - yes, of course, children are like prisoners. Silly me for not realising. You only get to do what you want if you are paid. grin Actually, my point was it isn't really being a "Healthy School" that results in water-only beakers, otherwise the rule should apply all the time for everyone... Clearly, since the rule doesn't apply to everyone, the health issue is not the real reason - after all, you are either insistent on being healthy or you aren't, it's utter hypocrisy only to insist on the children being healthy, even if that is actually very unhealthy because they get dehydrated as a result of your principles. I fully understand the mess issue. I don't understand the "teachers don't have to be healthy" issue, however, if you are going to inflict extreme health policies on the children.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 17:40:07

Ooh, and stretching the analogy still further - school is a punishment for bad behaviour. gringrin Why else would you have to go there when nobody is paying you?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 07-Jul-13 17:43:29

Rabbit - Well, the main health issue with drinks in the classroom is the constant washing of sugar and acid over teeth. That doesn't apply in the same way to one drink with a meal. So you don't need the same rule to apply all the time for it to make sense.

eddiemairswife Sun 07-Jul-13 17:46:35

I can also, as a teacher, most of us going to the pub on a Friday lunchtime!

eddiemairswife Sun 07-Jul-13 17:47:36

Missed out 'remember'.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 17:47:56

mrz - break time is any time where you have a break from the kids thanks rabbitstew so I get mine after school closes for the day ... in that case I get a drink when I get home and put the kettle on

MaybeBentley Sun 07-Jul-13 17:52:33

Not claiming children are like prisoners in the slightest, but was looking at your expectation of an employee having all the same regulations as people they work with and taking to an exteme. Just maybe a bit frustration at your expectation to control teachers and deny them the same rights as other * adult employees*

duchesse Sun 07-Jul-13 17:57:24

OP- if enforcing a strict water-only policy at school is what it takes to convince children that water is not poison until it's flavoured with aspartame, then they are doing a good job. From what I can ascertain from the thread, there is no need whatever for your DS to drink squash but every reason for him to stay hydrated. At 10, barring special needs, he is easily able to understand that and to take steps accordingly.

No medical reason for him needing squash, he can be hydrated with water but is choosing not to drink it.

A migraine is not simply a headache I agree but at 10 years old he needs to understand that there are rules and he is choosing not to follow the rules and if this means he gets a migraine it is no one's fault but his own.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 18:29:15

Hmm. I don't actually think a 10-year old is anywhere near old enough to really understand the consequences of not drinking enough water. Plenty of adult diabetics, epileptics, etc, still don't really understand the consequences until they kill them, let alone a 10-year old boy with friends to play with and water to ignore because it doesn't taste nice.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 18:30:12

Consequences of not following what they have been advised by doctors, that is.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 18:48:25

Yet 3 year old diabetics are perfectly capable of managing their condition

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:05:47

People have such low expectations of children. It's a shame.

spanieleyes Sun 07-Jul-13 19:06:52

Hmm. I don't actually think a 10-year old is anywhere near old enough to really understand the consequences of not drinking enough water. Plenty of adult diabetics, epileptics, etc, still don't really understand the consequences until they kill them, let alone a 10-year old boy with friends to play with and water to ignore because it doesn't taste nice.

The 9 year old insulin dependant diabetic in my class would probably beg to differ.

NoComet Sun 07-Jul-13 19:07:00

Honesty just send him with two bottles of squash everyday everydaythen if the teacher checks that on may get poured away and he drinks the other at lunch.

They will get bored long before you do, I don't think our school ever lasted more than two weeks moaning about what was in water bottles.

DD2 just took lime squash

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:10:54

Show me a 3-year old diabetic who is capable of managing his condition and I'll show him to you at 15 when he's rebelling against it.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 19:17:40

Quite likely rabbitstew but it doesn't alter the fact that we have children from nursery to y6 who monitor and manage diabetes on a daily basis as well as children with allergies and chronic conditions

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:18:15

curlew - yes, people do have low expectations of children. They put flavouring in their calpol and make silly and ineffectual attempts to make dioralyte more appealing. They have low expectations of adults, too, by sugar coating a lot of their pills.

A battle is only worth fighting if it's really important, not just a point of principle. I don't think a school insisting on water and nothing else is more important than ensuring that a child is well hydrated enough that they don't need to take more medication than absolutely necessary, personally. Either the school has to force the child to drink the water so he's well enough hydrated, or let him drink something he's willing to drink himself without being badgered. It's all rather self righteous to tell a 10-year old it's their fault they are taking more medication than necessary, when they really aren't going to understand properly that in the long term, controlling a condition with medication rather than sensible behaviour is a foolish thing to do. At the age of 10, you are still enforcing sensible behaviour in this regard without full understanding, you are not expecting them to take on full understanding and responsibility themselves. So, either the school spends more time ensuring he drinks water, or it lets him drink something he is happy to drink.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:23:10

I suppose I think that a child is not going to get dehydrated in 90 minutes. And yes I do think a 10 year old is more than old enough to accept that it's water only in class.

And I have a migraine sufferer too. But I don't pander to him- he has to learn to deal with a condition he will probably have all his life.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:32:21

curlew - the 10 year old does accept it's water only in class. He also appears to accept getting dehydrated. As a parent, I would still think him young enough that I would want to do something about this behaviour, rather than accept that it's his choice to take more medication, which is really not good for the health or control of his symptoms in the long term, but a necessary evil. If the school isn't going to help ensure he's drinking enough water, then the school should allow his parents to seek alternatives, rather than taking him out of parental control and leave him to harm his long term health.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:37:40

If a 3-year old diabetic didn't want to control his condition, would that be OK? Would the teachers leave him to it and call the ambulance when necessary?

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:39:14

The school is. The OP said that the Head had had a word with him and they had come to an agreement that he would try to drink more water- but the OP was outraged that the ahead talked to her son without a parent present.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:41:11

The point is that a 3 year old should obviously not be left to manage their condition unsupervised, but if they can learn tat that age what they should and shouldn't eat, then a 10 year old sure as hell can learn that he has to drink water for the 90 minutes or so between juice/squash opportunities.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:42:52

And if, despite your firm belief that a 10-year old sure as hell can do something, he sure as hell isn't doing it, what is your plan B?

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 19:45:56

Bribery. Sanctions. But certainly not changing the rules or telling him they don't apply to him.

sunshine401 Sun 07-Jul-13 19:46:12

Erm can't you just add a little dash of lemon/lime or something into his water?? Or is that a no no ? I don't mean actually making your own fruit juice, I mean just adding a little bit of fresh lemon juice or something similar.
When I make my fruit smoothies in the morning, I make my children a glass of water with ice and when I juice the fruit I add a tiny dash into their water glass just to give it a bit of a taste for them.

They have school meals and get milk at breaks and other drinks at lunch, so I never had to take in any form of drink for them at school. So feel free to correct me if I am wrong and you are not allowed to add a bit of flavoring to the ones you bring in. It is what I would do personally.

MrButtercat Sun 07-Jul-13 19:47:46

Erm I think 3 year olds vary.I had a 6 year old newly diagnosed diabetic in my class who struggled to manage her condition.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 19:50:06

I think the key words are newly diagnosed

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:01:37

The thing with the water only rule is that it isn't only mrz who is dehydrated all day... But hey, who cares? Rules are rules, even ones that whilst claiming they are for the sake of your health, are actually bad for your health, because the rule isn't that you keep hydrated and make sure you drink regularly, the rule is that you have water in your beaker.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:07:07

If teachers don't have time to ensure their class all drink regularly, I wonder how they find the time to sniff everyone's beaker for evidence of illicit substances. grin

MrButtercat Sun 07-Jul-13 20:15:34

I'd be surprised if many 3 year olds could manage diabetes with zero adult monitoring.No way would I have handed it over to any of my 3 even my super sensible twin.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 07-Jul-13 20:17:17

My 13 year old friend at school couldn't manage her diabetes. It's not easy for all children to stay on top of conditions like that by themselves.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 20:24:00

Teachers don't have to rabbitstew there is nothing more indignant than a class mate who realises someone has juice in their bottle. Personally I don't carewhat is in water bottles but let's not pretend that there is a medical need for the OPs child to have juice.

How did they manage at nursery and school MrButtercat or did you pop up regularly?

idiot55 Sun 07-Jul-13 20:24:15

I remember school in the 1980's , I felt constantly thirsty, no such thing as water to drink in class. I had whatever drink from my packed lunch and that was that.

Where were all the migraine sufferers then, these things seem to be on the increase.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:33:10

idiot55 - I think these things genuinely are on the increase. Besides that, dehydration is not good for the health or concentration and I think most children get dehydrated at school - by the time you're actually thirsty, after all, you've been dehydrated for quite some time.

Funny how schools will interfere to the extent of insisting on water in beakers and insisting that parents ensure a beaker of water is taken into school, but won't interfere to the extent of ensuring the water is drunk.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:36:00

mrz - a classmate has no need to feel indignant if they understand how important it is to drink water, because it is so much more healthy. Surely they would just feel pity for the poor child with the rotten teeth? smile

Feenie Sun 07-Jul-13 20:36:02

Ah, but rabbitstew, you can lead a child to water....

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:37:29

Ah, but Feenie, you can lead a child to squash... grin

ipadquietly Sun 07-Jul-13 20:37:37

'...It is true that beverages such as tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and juices contain water but they also contain caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners or other chemicals that act as strong dehydrators. The more you drink these beverages, the more dehydrated you become because the effects they create in the body are exactly opposite to the ones that are produced by water...'

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 07-Jul-13 20:42:11

Where is that from ipad because Snopes has it under its myth busters - here

MrButtercat Sun 07-Jul-13 20:42:20

I didn't have a child with it but my uncle did and frequently had episodes.

Re the child in my class myself,the mother and the school nurse worked together.Not a problem.I used to have a mini can of coke in my bag at all times and supported her re checking blood sugar- took 5 mins,not a big deal.

Have to say my DS has a diff healthy snack to fruit at school( doctor's note and weight gain issues) not sure it's a problem.Kid's can't throw a fit because kids have different things- it's life.

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 20:43:38

so then they would come running to tell the teacher that poor TheOriginalNutcracker's son has juice and all his teeth will fall out, being the concerned citizens they are rabbitstew

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:45:25

There is so much unscientific rubbish written about "hydration" nowadays- and people fall for it, even thought it is shown to be rubbish.

A child is not going to get dehydrated in 90 minutes. Honestly.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:54:05
rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 20:57:16

curlew - you are assuming that all schools allow drinks other than water outside class time, which isn't true. Some schools only allow water or milk.

mrz - ah, alas, then, they will learn young that what is threatened to come to pass does not always come to pass and that sometimes, in any event, risking your teeth is better than permitting a child to have a migraine and take dangerous pills. sad But they won't mind, because they don't object to drinking water, anyway, and feel lucky that they don't have to risk their teeth like the poor child who gets migraines. smile

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 20:59:43

yet a 10 year old can't learn that drinking water will prevent his migraine ... odd that!

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 21:01:09

I'm sure he can make a technical connection, but he remembers just too late.... odd that!

mrz Sun 07-Jul-13 21:03:36

yet you expect all his classmates to be more mature ...

isitsnowingyet Sun 07-Jul-13 21:11:24

In secondary school it's brill. As all this Nanny State stuff goes totally out of the window, and kids can eat and drink as much sugar and fat as they like. Hoorah!!

But seriously, I give mine either water or weak squash, depending, and can't see why it's causing such a fuss on this thread. Surely weak squash is nowhere near as bad as a can of Coke or even Lucozade for that matter.

The school of the OP sounds totally OTT - sniffing kid's water bottles to make sure it is the proper sort of water - ridiculous bordering on the sublime.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 07-Jul-13 21:16:09

snowing - But can they eat and drink during lessons? That's the essential point of this thread as far as I can gather (although the OP hasn't specifically clarified what the position is with lunchtime drinks as I think she left the thread ages ago).

Buttercat- But if your DS has a different snack based on a doctor's note that is presumably because he needs that snack (or, for example, something lower sugar or higher calorie than fruit). What the OP's son needs is, ironically, exactly what they will allow. He needs water. It's just that he prefers squash. It's a behavioural issue, not a medical one at that point. That doesn't necessarily make it easier to fix, but I doubt many doctors would write a note that he should sip sugary squash all day long.

DameFanny Sun 07-Jul-13 21:23:52

That whole "drink before you're thirsty" thing - do people really believe that? Switch to "eat before you get hungry" and see how ridiculous the statement is.

nametakenagain Sun 07-Jul-13 21:25:23

I hope there are no mums at my dc's new school who think that the best solution to their child's medical problem is to ask for special treatment when the solution is to address the child's behaviour.

I'm sorry, OP, but I think you are asking the system to adjust for your child when you should be teaching your child to take responsibility.

I have every sympathy with you wanting to avoid the migraine - but I think your memory of the trauma is clouding your judgement.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 21:26:51

The "drink before you're thirsty" mantra comes from reports produced by the bottled water industry.

junkfoodaddict Sun 07-Jul-13 21:30:30

Well, I'm a teacher and allow the children squash. I am there to teach and yes, I teach children about healthy eating etc, etc. ALL foods are fine in moderation and that includes squash. If a parent chooses to give their child squash then so be it. They are the parent, not me. I can air my opinion but I really do not understand how ANY teacher has the right to deny a child fluid, unless of course it's alcohol or has DANGER written on the damned bottle.

junkfoodaddict Sun 07-Jul-13 21:33:19

Seriously, I think schools and parents can be a little OTT about the 'healthy eating' subject. Personally I think schools are just being bullies and asserting their authority in the wrong ways and about the wrong things quite frankly.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 07-Jul-13 21:34:07

junkfood - do you let them snack in class as well? Because I don't see it's that different. Also, it's not moderation as far as tooth enamel is concerned if a child is sipping squash all day every day. So whilst I take your point that you have better things to do than police juice rules, that's really a different point to whether a teacher has a right to deny a child consuming any substance in class.

curlew Sun 07-Jul-13 21:36:30

Children don't turn isn't a small cube of dessicated constituent chemicals if they don't drink all the time, you know.

I have to say, I find the obsession with "hydration" for healthy developed world children a little distasteful.

soapboxqueen Sun 07-Jul-13 21:51:55

There is no medical need to have squash only to be hydrated. Squash in this instance is a choice. If the school choose to allow you to put squash in his bottle, some child will work out he has squash, they will ask, they will be told and then another parent will come knocking at the head's door asking for an exception.

However, I do appreciate that a child (also plenty of adults) don't always do the right thing with regards to their health. Therefore I think you need to help the school to help you. Get a doctor's note. That way when other parents ask, the school can rightly say that exceptions are only for medical reasons supported by a doctor.

As an aside, teachers won't be randomly sniffing water bottles. it will be other children who cry foul and the teacher sniff the contents of the bottle to check.

The will be plenty of parents, myself included, who like that there is a water only rule in class.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Sun 07-Jul-13 21:55:59

Which schools are only allowing water and milk?
All our LA schools follow gov nutrition standards - and our tuckshop sells smoothies at break and twice a week they are allowed milkshake or squash with lunch. Ditto the fruit only rule - i asked them to change this as some of our v active kids need more so now they serve toast or teacakes at break.
As far as the classrooms go it's water only - for us all, me included. Partly as it's healthier, but mainly because alternatives are sticky. The kids never complain about drinking water and at this time of year especially all have it at the end of lunch.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 22:10:13

mrz - I don't expect the other children to be mature. I don't think what another child has in his drinks bottle is any of their business. Why so sensitive about the other children's feelings on this issue, yet so tough on other issues? You have said yourself, you don't care what the children have in their water bottles.

I go back to my point, you don't fight battles that aren't worth it. It is worth stopping a child getting migraines. It isn't worth making a big song and dance about whether a child has pure water in their bottle or not. The point of principle is a ridiculous one in this case. Let the child drink highly diluted squash, fgs, because whatever curlew thinks about dehydration, the child's mother believes he is getting dehydrated at school and is following medical advice (rather than curlew's non-medically based advice) to ensure her ds is well hydrated at all times.

exoticfruits Sun 07-Jul-13 22:25:37

If he suffers from migraines and knows he needs to drink then I think that 10 yrs old is plenty old enough to drink water. If he won't then he takes the consequences. People that I know with migraines do the prevention - they don't say 'I would rather have the migraine!'
If he has a problem with not drinking enough ask the teacher to remind him to drink at intervals.
It might be different if he was little, but he is 10yrs old.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 22:32:45

The Food Standards Agency recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day. If you are dehydrated, water doesn't replace lost sugars and salts. Children in general don't tend to drink enough at school.

I have no problem whatsoever with a water-only rule in the classroom, personally. I wouldn't want sticky drinks being spilt everywhere, either. From my own perspective, I have a bigger objection to my dss' school's 3-line whip that insists I send them into school with a beaker of water every day, which comes home full each day having sat warming nicely on a tray with lots of other neglected bottles of water. Why do schools insist on everyone having water in the classroom if they don't really care about whether anyone is actually drinking anything? And when a parent really does want their child to drink something, they won't help them ensure that they do? It's all so incredibly inconsistent, what schools do and don't interfere with.

rabbitstew Sun 07-Jul-13 22:39:18

I don't think anyone can find it particularly pleasant to drink luke warm water out of a plastic or metal bottle that's been sitting on a tray in a classroom all day. Given the amount of evidence accumulating that human beings do absorb chemicals from the plastics their food and drinks are stored in, I think I would rather they still had a few unhygienic water fountains around. grin

Fairenuff Sun 07-Jul-13 22:57:30

The water is there if they need to drink. At 10 they are old enough to make that decision without having to be micromanaged. It's quite simple, if you are thirsty drink your water - if not, don't.

It is different for young children. They need to be reminded. The same way they are reminded to wash their hands after toileting, to say please and thank you, to wait their turn, to share, etc.

10 year olds are given more responsibility for self care, appropriate to their age.

exoticfruits Mon 08-Jul-13 06:46:43

A 10 yr old is old enough to understand the choice:

You will get a migraine if you get dehydrated- the choice is yours- the school rule is water- drink it or have the migraine. Presumably the Head told him the simple truth.

Unless you have been in a class room with water bottles you will not understand how much gets spilt- it is bad enough without being sticky.

Put ice in it first thing before he puts it in his bag.

Wishihadabs Mon 08-Jul-13 06:55:07

Hmm it seems quite extraordinary that healthy dcs wouldn't drink water to stay hydrated. Of corse they prefer ssweetened drinks. As they have been growing up every time they started refusing water I have cracked down on it, making a point of it being g water or nothing for a few days. Sweetened drinks have a huge amount to answer in terms of public health and in that I include fruit juice and smoothies (both incredibly high in sugar and calories)

FWIW for the last 3 years we have as a family given up all drinks except water and milk for 6 weeks in lent. The rest of the time the dcs have soft drinks (1 per day) and juice with breakfast only at the weekend. DH and I do nt drink alcohol or soft drinks Monday-Thursday either. Saves a fortune.

exoticfruits Mon 08-Jul-13 07:12:46

It is like anything - a prefer a chocolate biscuit to a rich tea biscuit but there is no reason why I can't eat a rich tea biscuit.
Most children will prefer sugared water- it doesn't mean they can't drink it unsugared- especially if they are 10 yrs old and know what will happen if they don't.

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 07:39:17

It's all very simple - the child is not drinking enough.

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 07:40:44

Obviously, when he can no longer control his migraines and gets rebound headaches from stupidly relying on medication, you can get all smug about it. You have permitted him to rely on something dangerous by leaving it to him to decide whether to take medicine or drink water. Frankly, I think at 10 he is not old enough to make such a stupid decision unsupervised.

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 07:56:00

It's quite extraordinary that obese people eat so much and exercise so little. It's quite extraordinary that some people with diabetes control it so badly they end up going blind and having their feet amputated. It's quite extraordinary that anybody smokes and that so many people drink enough alcohol to be harmful to themselves. People really are quite extraordinary, and 10 year olds are too young to live on their own and look after themselves properly - how extraordinary.

DameFanny Mon 08-Jul-13 09:06:25

Rabbit - you don't get rebound headaches from preventive medication

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 09:09:03

You do from overuse of the Calpol he takes when the headache is coming on...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 08-Jul-13 09:14:11

I'm always baffled by the idea of 'not liking water'... It's just, well, water: if youre thirsty or you know you need to stay hydrated, you drink it! It's like not really liking air!

But warm water left in a bottle at the back of the class room is rank. I would t touch it either. Squash would make it just about bearable but only just. Obviously it would be better if child did drink water however if its a toss up between dosing him up constantly and a cm of cordial then I know what Id choose.

You would all go and have gone if the threads are anything to go by, nuts if the teachers told you that your kids couldn't have what you felt was reasonable in their lunch box.

DameFanny Mon 08-Jul-13 09:21:00

True Rabbit - I hope the I does what I do with ds and makes him drink something when he first complains of a headache before reaching for the meds. Which I also do to DH. grin

DameFanny Mon 08-Jul-13 09:21:36

The OP...

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 09:24:22

Basically, at the moment the OP's ds is taking medicine that makes him sleepy, fat and lethargic. He is then not avoiding migraine triggers whilst at school as advised, so still getting headaches which if not treated quickly with calpol will nevertheless lead on to full blown migraines, despite the preventative medication. He is choosing the calpol route. That is not the behaviour of a child old enough and responsible enough to take his own decisions at school without supervision. Without parents or teachers nagging him, he is not drinking. The school are aware that he is socially and academically behind his peers (and are not doing a good job of dealing with it...). Clearly they think this is all his and his mother's fault and it's not their problem, except to the extent that he might make a sticky mess in the classroom. Sounds to me like a school that is as bad at taking responsibility as the child is.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 08-Jul-13 09:25:04

I don't see how warm sticky sweet squash is any yummier than water, really!

rabbitstew Mon 08-Jul-13 09:25:22

TOSN - you wouldn't make a good taster for a food or drink company! Water is not tasteless, particularly not water in a plastic bottle. Personally, I don't see why anyone has a problem eating sheeps' eyeballs or insects... grin