Drinking water intake by infants living in rural Quebec (Canada)
Drinking water is a potential source of toxic contaminant and it is well known that water intake on a body weight basis decreases rapidly with increasing age. Nevertheless, few studies have been conducted on water intake of very young infants who might be particularly sensitive to some toxic chemicals. The objective of this study was to describe the mean and distribution of total water intake of 2-month old infants living in agricultural areas. Mothers (n=642) of 8 to 9 week old infants were interviewed by phone to evaluate their feeding practice, including juice and cereal intake. There were 393 infants (61%) who drank some quantity of water and 278 (43%) consumed formula reconstituted with water. For formula-fed infants, the 10, 50 and 90th percentiles of daily water intake were 79, 112, and 179 ml/kg respectively. These values are much higher than the intake recommended by US EPA for infants under one year (US EPA, 1997). This study demonstrates the importance of considering water distribution intake in very young infants who may be particularly susceptible to water contaminants.