Dehydration in Children

During the summer, your child can easily dehydrate when they forget to drink water because they are outside playing. By the time they get thirsty, they are probably well on their way to be dehydration. Quenching their thirst may not replenish enough liquid in their system, so it’s a good idea to know the symptoms of dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Fever and vomiting will often lead to dehydration, but so can a good deal of physical activity on a hot day. Signs of severe dehydration are a lack of urine, fatigue or dizziness, and cool, dry skin. Children may not have tears when they are crying. They may also be lethargic and have a dry or sticky mouth.

Dehydration Treatment

A parent can treat mild dehydration by letting the child drink water and rest in a cool, shaded environment. Sports drinks are a good option if the child has been engaged in a prolonged physical activity. Oral rehydration solutions that contain the right combination of salt and sugar for a child’s intestines are available at grocery and drug stores without a prescription.

In the past, doctors recommended clear liquids like jello, soda, fruit juice or chicken broth. Those liquids may make vomiting or diarrhea worse. If diarrhea or vomiting is causing your child’s dehydration, and they aren’t responding to oral rehydration solutions, you may need more urgent care for them. If there is no improvement or the symptoms are worsening, call your doctor or get your child to medical care immediately.

Make sure your child drinks enough so they don’t become dehydrated. During the hot summer months, they should drink at regular intervals especially when they are participating in sports or strenuous activities. Every 20 minutes or so is a good recommendation. Recognize when your child needs a break and encourage them to know their own body’s needs.