Dehydration in kids is a relatively common danger to watch out for, especially during the hot summer months. Dehydration is also a warning sign to look for when your child is seriously ill.
It is very important for parents to know the signs of dehydration in children, as well as how to prevent and treat it. Dehydration is a serious concern that often requires immediate attention, especially in infants and newborns. Keep reading to find out more about keeping your kids safe.
Signs of Dehydration in Children
Symptoms of dehydration can worsen with time if not treated properly. Severe dehydration is often a medical emergency that may require hospitalization. Parents should watch for signs of mild dehydration in order to catch the condition in its early stages.
Signs of mild dehydration include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Infrequent urination
In its early stages, dehydration can typically be easily reversed by drinking more fluids.
Signs of severe dehydration include:
- A weak pulse
- Extreme fatigue
- Inability to urinate
- Crying without tears
- Sunken fontanelle (in infants)
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Cold hands and feet
If you see any of these signs, contact a medical professional or call 911.
Prevention of Dehydration in Children
Babies and kids are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated than most healthy adults are. Some underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also increase the risk of dehydration.
Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that kids are getting enough rest and drinking plenty of fluids when they are sick or playing outdoors. Check in frequently on active kids to prevent heatstroke or dehydration, especially during the summer. And when your child is ill, pay special attention to their liquid intake and make sure they are keeping their fluids down.
During an illness, it can be hard for kids to stay hydrated due to frequent vomiting and diarrhea. Encouraging your child to take frequent small sips of their beverage can be more effective at preventing dehydration than attempting to drink an entire glass at once.
Treatment of Dehydration in Children
If your child is sick and having trouble keeping down fluids, try offering them ice cubes to help them stay hydrated. Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte can also be a great way to keep sick kids out of the hospital. If none of these methods are working and dehydration symptoms are worsening, IV fluids might be necessary. If your child is severely dehydrated, a visit to the ER may be warranted, especially if symptoms are accompanied by a high fever.
If you have any questions about the treatment or prevention of dehydration in kids, please give our team of board-certified pediatricians a call.