Dehydration is a physical condition that can have moderate to serious consequences for humans. Just like adult men and women, children can also be subjected to this condition and require treatment at times. As it is natural, a kid’s body also loses water through urinations, sweating and tears. When the body starts losing water at a fast rate and the lost fluid is not replenished as quickly, dehydration sets in. Even fever and diarrhea causes kids and grownups to lose more water from body than usual through perspiration.
Symptoms of dehydration in a child
The major symptoms of dehydration in a kid are:
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Yellow urine
- Lethargy or irritability
- Dry and cool skin
Keep in mind that babies have delicate immunity in most cases and their bodies react sharply to excess fluid loss than adults.
Ways to treat dehydration in children
The methods of treatment of dehydration in kids can vary. It depends on the severity of dehydration and in extreme cases, immediate hospitalization can be a prerequisite. However, basic to moderate levels of dehydration in kids can safely be treated at home. Below listed are some effective remedies for treating dehydration in kids:
- Plain water– the best remedy for dehydration is fluid replenishment in the body, beyond doubt. For this, there can be hardly anything better than drinking plain water! Keep the child in shaded, cool environment as well. Based on age of child use a bottle or glass to let him or her drink water.
- ORS solutions– with body fluid a child also loses a significant amount of electrolytes when he or she gets dehydrated. For this, they can be given ORS fluids. These can be found at your local chemist shop but you can seek expert medical advice regarding the most apt solution. ORS can also be given to babies who are dehydrated even when they vomit.
- Nutrient filled fluid– When your kid is dehydrated, it implies he or she has lost a significant amount of nutrients with fluid from the body. So, giving the child nutrient filled liquid can be of help. You may prepare vegetable soup with thin texture at home. Similarly, you may prepare fruit juice at home. These can be given to the kid along with plenty of water.
- Gradual resumption of normal food– When a child is dehydrated, offering him or her plenty of water and edible fluids is necessary. However, you should resist giving the child solid food quickly. Regular and sold food can be resumed for sure. However, you should wait for at least 24 hours before resuming the solid foods and regular meals, to be on the safe side. Initially, you can give food like boiled rice, cereals and mashed potato to the child.
- Continue breastfeeding– For infants who are dehydrated, you can offer breastfeeding, say the doctors.
Points of caution
You should exercise caution when it comes to giving a child fluids and beverages to cope with dehydration. Some cautions also need to be taken about the solid foods that you give to them at this time.
- There are some beverages and fluids that you should not give a dehydrated kid. Examples include commercial or OTC sports drink, soda based drinks, fruit juice or ready to cook soups. These products often have an improper mix of salt and sugar, which can be harmful for a kid who is dehydrated.
- If the kid is young, do not give water as the sole fluid as it can dilute the minerals more and create complications. You may offer other suitable beverages with water, such as warm milk.
- Kids suffering from stomach problems should not be given too much milk or fruit juice when they are dehydrated. It can make their condition worse.
- Evade giving the kids foods high in sugar, spicy or deep fried foods for some time.
- When choosing a summer camp for your child, make sure to choose one that provides plenty of drinking water during activities.
When to seek medical intervention
If your kid is not responding to the aforementioned home remedies for dehydration or you find the condition is worsening, do not waste time. Seek medical intervention and at times hospitalization can be necessary. Kids, who cannot drink fluids though mouth owing to exhaustion, can be given fluids in intravenous manner.