Dehydration in children


Dehydration is a condition in which a child’s body has depleted its body’s fluid reserves. Dehydration can cause vomiting, diarrhea, not getting enough fluids, or a combination of these.

In rare cases, sweating or excessive urination can cause dehydration. Babies and young children are more prone to dehydration than older children and adults because they can lose relatively more fluids.

What are the symptoms?

Your child is dehydrated if they lose too much fluid due to vomiting or diarrhea or if they refuse to eat or drink water.

The most common signs of the condition are:

• Decreased frequency of urination or dry diapers;
• Sunken fontanelle in babies;
• No tears when crying;
• Dry or sticky mucous membranes – the lining of the mouth or tongue;< br/> • Irritability – the baby cries more and looks nervous;
• Sunken eyes;

What are the causes?

Dehydration is most often caused by high fever, diarrhea, vomiting and a reduced desire to eat or drink water, which are associated with viral infections.

• The most common viral infections that cause vomiting or diarrhea are rotaviruses and adenoviruses.
• Sometimes canker sores in the child’s mouth which are caused by several viruses make it painful to eat and drink water and this contributes to deepening or causing dehydration.
More serious bacterial infections can cause the child to eat and drinks less water than usual. Also, bacterial contamination can cause diarrhea and vomiting. The most common bacterial infections are with Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter and Clostridium difficile.
A parasitic infection with Giardia lamblia and causing a disease called giardiasis can also lead to diarrhea and fluid loss .
Increased sweating due to very warm weather can also lead to dehydration.
Excessive urination can be caused by undiagnosed or improperly treated diabetes insipidus
Diseases such as cystic fibrosis or celiac sprue prevent normal absorption of food and can lead to dehydration.

Treating Dehydration in Children

Most children become dehydrated due to diarrhea or vomiting caused by a viral infection. The way you as a parent can help your dehydrated child is to give them plenty of fluids while they are sick. This is called replacing the lost fluids.

A suitable substitute for liquids are preparations such as rehydrin, which, in addition to liquid, provide the body with sugar and minerals such as sodium, potassium and chlorides. The preparations are usually dissolved in water and are sold in most pharmacies and drugstores at an affordable price of about BGN 5.

You can also make your own oral rehydration liquid by following this recipe:

• 1 teaspoon of cooking
• ½ teaspoon of potassium chloride – potassium salt in one glass – 250 ml. water;

Children over 2 years of age can also be given carbonated water which must be shaken first to remove carbonation or broths. Give several times every few minutes.

Although it may seem like your child is throwing up everything you give them, there is usually enough fluid left in their body. About 4 hours after the last vomiting, you can start feeding your child light foods such as bananas, rice, apples and other pastas such as spaghetti and macaroni.

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