Ensuring safe, accessible drinking water in schools is a national health priority. The objective of this study was to identify whether there are differences in water quality, availability, and education- related practices in schools by demographic characteristics. In 2017–2018, we analyzed data from the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of US schools. Analyses examined differences in water-related practices by school characteristics. Response rates for the 3 questionnaires used in this analysis ranged from 69%–94% (Ns ranged from 495 to 577). We found that less than half of schools flush drinking water outlets after periods of non-use (46.4%), conduct periodic inspections that test drinking water outlets for lead (45.8%), and require staff training on drinking water quality (25.6%). Most schools teach the importance of water consumption (81.1%) and offer free drinking water in the cafeteria (88.3%). Some water-related school practices differed by school demographic characteristics though no consistent patterns of associations by school characteristics emerged. In US schools, some water quality-related practices are limited, but water availability and education-related practices are more common. SHPPS data suggest many schools would benefit from support to implement best practices related to school-drinking water.
Examining differences in the implementation of school water-quality practices and water-access policies by school demographic characteristics
Examining Differences by Social and Demographic Characteristics of Schools in the Implementation of Water-Quality Practices and Water-Access Policies
Ensuring safe, accessible drinking water in schools is a national health priority. Students in schools that provide free water consume more water, potentially replacing sugar-containing beverages and promoting a healthy weight. The aims of this study are to: 1) identify whether practices related to school water quality, availability, and education … More
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies
This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 … More