Fever, flu, coughs and colds run rampant this time of year and plague families with tired, uncomfortable kids. Moms and dads worry when their little ones become lethargic and feel crummy. Sickness puts children at higher risk for dehydration, according to the National institutes of Health. Read on to learn dehydration danger signs and some steps you can take to prevent serious dehydration in your child.
Fever, vomiting and diarrhea cause rapid fluid loss in kids. Many parents use thirst as a guide for testing hydration levels, but especially during times of illness thirst isn’t a good indicator. By the time a child feels thirsty, he or she could already be on the road to dehydration. Instead be alert for these danger signs in your child:
1. A dry, sticky mouth or cracked lips
2. Decreased urine production or dark yellow urine
3. Dizziness in older children
4. Lethargy and irritability
Fortunately, most of the time kids get better with time and appropriate medical care, but parents can combat dehydration during times of illness with these simple steps.
1. Offer kids plenty of fluids. Water is great, but juice or electrolyte replacement drinks might have added benefits during illness, such as replacing salt lost from diarrhea or vomiting.
2. Offer frozen fruit juice or Popsicles, if kids complain that their throats hurt too much to drink.
3. Encourage small sips rather than big gulps when little tummies are upset to discourage nausea.
If you suspect more than mild dehydration, or if symptoms don’t improve, contact your child’s doctor.
The program is super-reasonable and easy to do!