Dehydration can be dangerous for everyone and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but for children, it can be particularly dangerous. A common cause of dehydration in children is diarrhea. As a parent, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration to watch for in your little ones and understand how to prevent dehydration during a bout of diarrhea.
Does My Child Have Diarrhea?
Children have diarrhea if they experience loose or watery stools three times or more in a single day. Diarrhea in children is often accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, nausea, stomach pain, bloating, loss of appetite and others.
Because diarrhea in children can lead to dehydration, it’s important to resolve your child’s diarrhea quickly. Consider keeping DiaResQ for children on hand. Safe for children as young as 1YR, DiaResQ provides nutrients and immune factors that work with your child’s body to help quickly and safely restore normal intestinal function and relieve diarrhea.
Why Dehydration in Children is Dangerous
Children can become dehydrated more easily simply due to their smaller size, so it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs. When a child is dehydrated, their growing body doesn’t have sufficient fluids to function properly, which can lead to brain damage and even death in very severe cases.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration in Children
In older children symptoms of dehydration are similar to what they would be in adults and include a dry mouth, sunken looking eyes and skin, extreme fatigue and lethargy, dry and cool skin, less frequent urination, drowsiness and dizziness. In babies and toddlers sometimes it’s harder to tell, so be sure to watch out for the following (in addition to the symptoms just listed):
- Crying without tears
- Fewer wet diapers than usual and/or dark colored urine
- Dry or cracked lips
- Excessive sleepiness and low energy
- Much fussier than usual
- Sunken soft spot on the head (for small babies)
In a very serious situation, your child could become delirious or lose consciousness. Needless to say, no parent wants to imagine reaching this point, which is why prevention is key.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Children
While proper hydration is always important, it is crucial when your child has diarrhea. We recommend increasing fluid intake the moment your child comes down with a bout of diarrhea. To help ensure your child stays properly hydrated during diarrhea, follow these 5 simple steps:
- Offer a store-bought or homemade oral rehydration therapy.
- Encourage small sips of both water and oral rehydration therapy every 10 minutes, especially if they are vomiting and not able to drink much all at once.
- If an oral rehydration therapy isn’t available, unsweetened coconut water also works well, and children tend to enjoy its natural sweet taste.
- If you are breastfeeding, continue to do so frequently.
- Last but certainly not least, trust your parent’s intuition. If you feel that your child is becoming dehydrated and are worried, it’s never a bad idea to seek the advice of a doctor. You know your child best, so don’t second-guess what feels right.