Are there any health reasons for children to avoid drinking bottled water, vs. tap water? What about reasons to prefer bottled water over tap water?

What do the experts say?

asked 15 Feb '10, 01:38

Chris%20W.%20Rea's gravatar image

Chris W. Rea
accept rate: 34%

+1 Good question - I have also wondered this and whether there are any effects . We are obliged tho drink bottled water, however when in Kent England, we drink tap water. My daughter however always seems to get a tummy ache, so now we avoid giving her tap water when in England.

(15 Feb '10, 06:55) Emi

We have tended to drink bottled water while vacationing as well, just because we aren't sure of the water elsewhere. At home we're on tap water, but filtered with a Brita jug.

(15 Feb '10, 13:56) Chris W. Rea

Are there any health reasons for children to avoid drinking bottled water, vs. tap water?

If you have any concerns about your water source, have it tested. Testing is generally inexpensive.

We can give many resources that indicate one is better than the other and vice versa, and there have been a multitude of reports and problems with both.

But you should only be interested in your specific water source, and none of these reports, studies, stories, and such will likely help you in deciding what is safest for you and your family. At best they will only provide more doubts.

For my family, we are pleased with our local water utility, but we've also installed a water filtration system for our drinking water which gives us additional protection and peace of mind. At pennies per gallon it's worth the extra protection.


answered 16 Feb '10, 02:01

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

I'm not an expert, but we just took our 2 1/2 year old and our 16 month old to the dentist last week. He advised us to use tap water, for the flouride content, for our 2 year old, but that it wasn't necessary for our our 16 month old yet.

You can also purchase "baby water" in bottles/jugs at most stores in the United States such as Babies R Us that is purified water with added flouride. This would be a good alternative if you are afraid your tap water has contaminants in it. We get a water statement every once in a while from our city that lists out all the things that are in the tap water supplied to our house.

As far as regular bottled water goes, I have seen a few undercover TV shows that have done tests on bottled water and show that it's not much different than tap water. Although I prefer the taste of bottled water over most tap water. :)


answered 15 Feb '10, 19:01

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 15 Feb '10, 23:20

If your tap water is ok (and it is in most first world municipalities, but get it tested if you are concerned), it's probably as good as you can do. Many bottled waters are just tap water packaged up and 10000 times more expensive. Some municipalities have more rigorous standards for tap water than what anybody enforces for bottles. But of course, if you have your tap water tested and it's unsafe, by all means use bottled.

Here's a good article about bottled water.

Long-term out-of-the-box thinking: ecologically, no good can come from extracting a lot of water from one place, shipping it (probably by burning fossil fuels) long distances and then releasing it on the other end in a different ecosystem. Is it inconceivable that this unsustainable behavior, on huge scales, will result in health hazards down the road? Hard to say. Of course I don't mean hazards to the drinker from consuming the bottled water now, I mean health hazards generally for all of us (or to those where the water came from). One of the biggest health issues world wide is access to potable water, and moving it around the planet for no good reason is unlikely to help in the long run (especially when, let's face it, we're talking here about moving it primarily from areas of low wealth to areas of high wealth). Just food for thought.


answered 16 Feb '10, 23:28

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 16 Feb '10, 23:34

It hugely depends on the quality of the tap water. Fortunately where I live, we usually have a very high quality tap water, so this is no problem for us.

From what I've read: If you drink bottled water, try to stick to glass bottles where possible: plastic bottles can release hormone-mimicking substances into the water. If you are in the US, you should probably not drink water from the tap at all.

Probably the best is to gather information about the quality of your water from local sources.


answered 15 Feb '10, 08:06

brandstaetter's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

Another concern about bottled vs tap water is that many companies just put tap water in their bottles. Aquafina (Pepsi) and Desani (Coca Cola) use tap water. Nestle apparently sometimes uses tap water and sometimes spring water.

There are lots of articles online about this. Here is one:

So, you may think you are drinking something better or safer because it comes from a bottle, but it may just be tap water!


answered 15 Feb '10, 12:45

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

In the UK bottle water labelled as natural mineral water can have very (dangerous to children) high levels of sodium - this NHS webpage has some advice about bottled water safety and children. It says that you should check the label to make sure that it doesn't have more than 200mg of sodium per litre.


answered 17 Feb '10, 22:23

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

Good to know! Thanks!

(18 Feb '10, 01:29) Chris W. Rea



answered 01 Mar '10, 21:26

Lilmama's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I have been hearing quite a bit about chemicals in PET plastics recently, and I'm slowly being convinced (brainwashed?) into thinking we need to reduce the amount of PET plastic containers in our household.

(02 Mar '10, 02:34) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 15 Feb '10, 01:38

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Last updated: 01 Mar '10, 21:26