PARENTS in the Borders are being encouraged to ensure their kids’ back to school regime includes a new key item, a reusable water bottle.

Along with the standard new uniform, gym kit and pencil case, a reusable water bottle is said to be a vital component for a child’s learning.

Acclaimed Scots health and nutrition expert Amanda Hamilton is supporting a drive by Scottish Water to remind both parents and children of the benefits of taking a reusable water bottle to use at school.

Best-selling lifestyle author Amanda is also a mother-of-two and is concerned children do not drink enough water throughout the day.

She said: “Encouraging children to have a regular water intake throughout the school day is a vital aspect to maintain good health and a healthy learning environment.

“It has been proven that through drinking water and staying hydrated children are more attentive and focused during lessons for longer periods of time.

“We are lucky to have safe and delicious water from the tap, we should all be making the most of it. For parents trying to wean kids off sugary drinks, it can help to add a slice or orange, lemon or even a sprig of mint to tap water for extra flavour.

For children aged five to eight years old the recommended water intake is one litre a day.

The amount increasing even more to one and a half litres for eight to 10-year olds and up to two litres for over 13’s.

And with the new 20p deposit scheme for throwaway drinks containers being rolled out in the Borders this year, reusable water bottles will not only save families money, but also teach children to respect the environment.

Amanda added: “Like many families, in my home we do all we can do reduce the use of plastic. We’ve made it part of the daily routine to re-fill water bottles from the tap.

“By highlighting the benefits of a reusable water bottle and filling up from the tap, we are helping to instil in children the small daily habits that can make a big difference.

“The reality is that this is message for all ages – so using a reusable water bottle is just as applicable for people returning to work or students going back after the summer.”

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said: “We want to encourage everyone to choose our nation’s greatest natural asset, which is our fresh and tasty water - straight from the tap.

“We believe that if everyone joins in, the positive impact on Scotland and the world will be incredible. Every little thing makes a difference.”