With summer here and outdoor activities abundant, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated and keep cool. Dehydration is a very real issue that occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt and is not replenished sufficiently. This can happen in adults and children through sickness such as diarrhea or vomiting, or from long periods of sweating and/or physical exertion. It is vital to stay ahead of dehydration, and prevention can include much more than simply drinking water (although regular water intake is important).
Here are some ways to help prevent your child from becoming dehydrated:
- Offer ample fluids such as water, popsicles, or child-safe electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte. These can all be used to get fluids into the body to keep your child safe and thoroughly hydrated.
- Keep snacks with high-water content handy, such as fresh fruits. Fruits such as strawberries and watermelon can be an easy, delicious way for kids to get a little extra hydration while on the go.
- Stay cooled and covered. Dehydration can happen from extreme sun exposure. Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather in cool, breathable clothing and has opportunity to sit and relax in shaded areas.
- Avoid high sugar drinks such as sodas and fruit juices. These liquids don’t have the proper amount of sugars and salts to replenish what their body has lost if they’re in a situation with risk of dehydration.
Ensuring children keep their fluid intake up throughout the hot summer months is key in preventing dehydration and the scary effects it can have. Signs your child is dehydrated include:
- Dry or “sticky” feeling mouth
- Less urination
- Sunken eyes in children or the fontanelle (soft spot) in infants
- Crying with no tears
- Drowsiness, dizziness, and disorientation
If you suspect your child is dehydrated, offering fluids may rectify the problem. However, if after offering fluids your child does not show signs of improvement, a trip to the emergency room for IV fluids and other treatment may be needed.
By following these tips and making sure to stay ahead of dehydration, your family can enjoy a fun-filled summer while remaining healthy. For questions or concerns regarding dehydration or other health-related inquiries, contact us today and our skilled pediatricians and staff will be happy to help you.