By Franice & Thacia Stirling ©2008
MAMA: Tina, I think you and Paco should take baths.
PACO: But Mama, I don't want to take a bath.
TINA: Me either!!!
MAMA: You both need to wash up.
PACO: But why? I am clean
TINA: Yeah. We didn't play in the dirt!
MAMA: Hygiene is very important to our health.
PAPA: Your mother is right. We can't see germs, but we can wash them off our bodies.
MAMA: I will have Dr. Water come for dinner and he can talk to you.
TINA and PACO: Do we have to see Dr. Water?
PAPA: Yes. He is going to be our guest.
MAMA: Now go and take your baths. Now.
PAPA: Why, hello, Dr. Water.
DR. WATER: Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Lopez. And hello, Tina and Paco.
PAPA: Would you mind telling the children about how important water is to the body?
DR. WATER: Sure. I will be glad to. Children what do you know about water?
(Tina and Paco think)
TINA: Well, I don't know much about it.
DR. WATER: Didn't your teacher tell you something about water?
PACO: No. She just skipped over that part.
DR. WATER: Hmm. Sounds like you need some advice about water.
MAMA: Paco and Tina don't want to take their baths or drink water. I do not know what to do.
DR. WATER: Well, I will see what I can do.
MAMA: Thank you.
DR. WATER: Paco and Tina did you know that your body is about 60 per cent water by weight?
DR. WATER: Yes. Have you ever breathed against a mirror or window glass? What do you see?
TINA: Your breath can make a little moisture film on the mirror.
DR. WATER: That is correct. Every time you exhale, you are losing some moisture from your body. We can also lose about two cups of water from our skin every day! If you don't replace that water, you can become dehydrated and get headaches.
MAMA: Dinner is ready. Come on in.
DR. WATER: Children, aren't you going to wash your hands first?
PACO: No, we don't wash our hands.
DR. WATER: You should. It helps keep the germs on your hands from getting into your mouth.
TINA: How did the germs get on my hand?
DR. WATER: Germs are everywhere. Someone coughs on his hands, and then touches a doorknob or handrail. We come along and touch the same things.
PACO: And the germs stick on our hands?
DR. WATER: That is right, Paco.
TINA: How many germs are on our hands? 60?
DR. WATER: No. There are many more than you would think. There are thousands just on your finger, so think about how many are on your whole hand.
TINA: Wow. That would be a lot.
DR. WATER: Especially wash your hands after touching an animal, before eating, or before preparing food.
TINA: (sigh) I guess we had better go wash. Come on Paco.
PAPA: Thank you for saying the blessing, Dr. Water. What would you like to drink?
DR. WATER: Water will be fine, thank you.
TINA: Wouldn't you like some soda pop?
DR. WATER: No. Water is the best drink. It takes away my thirst without making me fat or rotting my teeth.
MAMA: And water is available almost everywhere and doesn't cost much. How much water do you drink every day, Dr. Water.
DR. WATER: I try to drink about eight glasses a day.
TINA: Why so much?
DR. WATER: Besides replacing the water I lose, I want to keep the inside of my body clean.
PACO: Mama says we need to wash the outside of our bodies. Now you are saying we should wash the inside, too.
DR. WATER: Water can help wash toxins or poisons from our body. It also helps get the good things spread through your body. I told you the body is 60 per cent water, but did you know your blood is 90 per cent water. Blood is responsible for carrying the nutrition from your food to all parts of the body.
TINA: What would happen if we didn't drink enough water?
DR. WATER: Some people get kidney stones from not drinking enough. That can be painful and sometimes I have had to operate on the people to remove the stone.
DR. WATER: Our immunity is lowered when we don't drink enough. The blood can't as easily fight disease.
PACO: Aren't there germs in the water?
DR. WATER: Yes. Sometimes we need to boil or filter water before we can use it for drinking. Sometimes the city will treat the water with chemicals to kill germs. It is important that the water you drink be pure or clean.
TINA: I just thought of another use for water.
MAMA: What is that?
TINA: I always wondered why we washed a cut when we got one. It hurt and I didn't want anyone to touch the cut. Now I think I know. We are washing away dirt and possible germs that might try to get into the body.
DR. WATER: That is a very important way to avoid infections. I am afraid I also see too many wounds that became infected when a little water would have prevented a lot of pain.
PACO: I still don't like the idea of taking a bath. I wish there weren't germs.
DR. WATER: A bath can provide other benefits besides washing away germs.
MAMA: I find a bath to be relaxing.
DR. WATER: The warm water can increase the circulation of the blood.
MAMA: Grandma likes to take a warm bath to help ease the pain in her back and joints.
DR. WATER: Baths have been used to treat sickness for hundreds of years. Have you ever had a stuffed up nose from a cold?
PACO: Yes. It is hard to breath.
DR. WATER: Next time that happens, try taking a hot bath or shower and see if your breathing doesn't get easier.
TINA: I get so cold after my bath. I don't like that.
DR. WATER: Keep your towel handy, so you can dry off quickly. Then you should not get as cold. Some people like a cool shower or bath to wake themselves up in the morning. Others like a warm bath right before bed to help them relax and go so sleep quickly.
TINA: What about swimming?
DR. WATER: Swimming is just another form of bathing. Some people call it bathing. Just be sure that you swim in clean water in a safe place.
MAMA: Go brush your teeth, children.
PACO: More washing. Is there anything else left to wash?
MAMA: Since you mentioned it, I think it has been a while since you washed your hair, and be sure to put your clothes in the basket to get washed tomorrow.
PACO: Ohhh, Mama.
TINA: So we use water for inside our bodies, on our skin, hair, and teeth, and to clean our clothes and home and food. It surely is important.
PAPA: Maybe that is why Jesus called the gospel the water of life.
MAMA: Dr. Water, we have learned so much. Thank you for coming.
DR. WATER: It has been my pleasure. The more people know about the uses and benefits of clean water, the less sickness I see and that makes me happy.