How to Recover Child from Dehydration? - Causes, Risks and Warning Signs
Created by Faraz Mohammad Khan Updated on May 09, 2019
Every day, we lose body fluids (water and other liquids) in our urine, stool, sweat, and tears. We replace the lost fluids by eating and drinking. But this might not be the process every toddler follows. It becomes important for us as a parent to monitor their fluid intakes to ensure a hydrated toddler. Normally, the body balances these processes carefully, so we replace as much water as we lose. Dehydration is the condition where the body loses more water than it receives. It creates a scarcity of water for essential body functions eventually disrupting normal metabolic processes.
Toddlers are the most susceptible group to dehydrate as their smaller bodies hold lesser fluid reserves. Read more to find out what dehydration is, what causes dehydration in toddlers, and how you can deal with it.
Dehydration Causes in Toddlers
The most common causes of dehydration are:
- poor fluid intake during an illness
- fluid losses from diarrhea and/or vomiting
Is Your Toddler At Risk Of Dehydration?
Some toddlers become dehydrated because they don’t drink enough water. Certain factors can also put your toddler at a higher risk of dehydration. These include:
- Excessive sweating
- Poor fluid intake during an illness
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes or a bowel disorder
- Exposure to hot and humid weather
Warning Signs of Dehydration in Toddlers
Dehydration can happen very slowly over time, or it can happen suddenly. Toddlers with an illness, especially stomach flu, should be monitored closely for signs of dehydration. The warning signs aren’t always obvious. Your toddler may show the below signs of dehydration...
- dry, cracked lips and a dry mouth
- a decrease in urine output, no urine for eight to 12 hours, or dark-colored urine
- drowsiness or irritability
- cold or dry skin
- low energy levels, seeming very weak or limp
- no tears when crying
- sunken eyes or sunken soft spot on baby's head
How to Help Child Recover from Dehydration?
The way to effectively treat dehydration is to replenish the lost fluids in your toddler's body. Take the following steps in case your toddler seems dehydrated or is vomiting or suffering from diarrhea
- Give your toddler an oral rehydration solution. These solutions contain water and salts in precise proportions and are easy to digest. They are the best drinks to remedy dehydration. Plain water won’t usually be enough
- Keep giving your toddler liquids slowly until their urine is clear. If your toddler is vomiting, give them only a small amount at a time until they’re able to keep it down. Gradually increase the frequency and amount. Giving too much too fast will often cause vomiting to return
- If you are still breastfeeding, continue to do so. You can also give your baby a rehydration solution in their bottle
Dehydration is an easily remedial illness but should not be taken lightly. Staying vigilant helps detect dehydration early. Rehydration and some care will bring back the preschooler to normal.
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