One Dangerous Drink

Students Sharing Water Bottles Can Come With Serious Consequences


Natalie Kehrli

Mia Peyton (11) and Morgan Collier (11) take a sip from their own water bottles during class.

Natalie Kehrli, Contents Editor

All it takes is one sip. 

Every day students take drinks from each other’s water bottles, but one of those quick, convenient sips can bring other unforeseeable problems. 

Elaine Gibbs, the high school health associate, said those problems can sometimes become quite serious to a student’s health.

“Sharing a water bottle can spread the flu, mono, herpes, strep throat and many other viral and bacterial illnesses,” Gibbs said. “Some of these illnesses, like mono, can make people sick for months.”

Gibbs also wants students to know that preventing the spread of bacteria when sharing water bottles is impossible.

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“There is a transfer of bacteria every time you come in contact with something another person has taken a drink out of,” Gibbs said. “It doesn’t matter if you remove the lid and don’t drink out of the straw the other person is using; there’s still always a transfer of bacteria. The only way to get rid of that bacteria after someone has drank out of it is to wash the bottle with soap and warm water.” 

While Gibbs highly advises students to stay away from sharing water bottles, she also warns students to stay away from doing any activities that can spread bacteria, especially with flu season coming up.

“I see students doing other things like kissing, sharing food or sharing combs and brushes,” Gibbs said. “All those things have a risk of giving you something. With flu season starting in December and not ending until March, students should be extra cautious in the upcoming months.”

Some students, like Mia Peyton (11), know all too well what the nurse is talking about.

“It’s easy to let friends take a drink from your water, especially during basketball practice, Peyton said. “But one time I’m pretty sure I got a cold after I let someone drink from my bottle. It can be hard to say no to friends, but I think it’s worth not risking getting sick in the end.”

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