Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration is when your body does not have enough liquid to function properly. Children and babies can get dehydrated either from not drinking enough or from losing fluids. This normally happens when they are vomiting or have severe diarrhea (or both). It can also happen in hot climates and when they have a fever. Keeping your child well hydrated is an important part of your kids health.
Signs of Dehydration in Children
If your child is not taking enough liquids or is losing lots of liquids, it is important to look out for signs of dehydration:
Dry mouth (although if you breath through your mouth it will be dry)
- Not producing tears
- Sunken eyes
- Sunken soft spot (fontanelle)
- Dry diapers or nappies is a sign that they are not weeing as much as normal (not weeing every 6 hours or having very dark yellow wee)
- Dry cool skin
- Lethargy or very sleepy
- Feeling thirsty
Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children. Keeping Hydrated.
Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) are good if your child is vomiting or has diarrhea. They contain sugars and salts to replace the salts that your child is losing in the vomit and diarrhea. You can buy ORS from the pharmacy or super market. (You can make your own if you know a recipe.)
- If they don’t like ORS try water or water with sugar syrup. Fizzy drinks and fruit juice are not good as they are acidic and will probably come back up. Fizzy drinks that are left to go flat are alright.
- Breastfed babies can continue with breast milk.
- Offer small amounts of fluids frequently. Start small, such as a teaspoon every 5 minutes. If they don’t vomit, you can increase it a little bit. If you allow them to drink a large amount, they will probably vomit again.
How do I Stop My Well Child from becoming Dehydrated?
If your child is well, they just need to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. Water is the best fluid to keep them hydrated.