Smart Hydration Practices for Active Kids

Smart Hydration Practices for Active Kids

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Active kids require smart hydration practices, particularly during illness. Providing extra liquids or oral rehydration solutions is crucial. Administer small, frequent doses, especially if your child is prone to vomiting. These practices ensure that your child stays hydrated and recovers effectively.

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What Is Dehydration?

In simple terms, dehydration is the consequence of insufficient water levels in the body.
Dehydration emerges when the body does not have enough water.

What Causes Dehydration?

Dehydration in children is commonly triggered by vomiting, diarrhea, or a combination of both. Additionally, situations like mouth sores or a sore throat can deter children from wanting to drink, leading to dehydration. Keep an eye out for signs, especially during hot weather or when kids engage in high levels of physical activity.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration?

Being vigilant about recognizing dehydration warning signs in children is crucial for their well-being. Look for key indicators like a consistently dry or sticky mouth, limited tears during crying, and sunken eyes. In infants, a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on the head is a significant warning sign. Reduced urine output and fewer wet diapers are clear markers. Pay attention to changes in your child's mood; signs of irritability, increased drowsiness, or occasional dizziness could indicate dehydration.

How Is Dehydration Treated?

Dehydration in children can result from various causes such as vomiting, diarrhea, or reluctance to drink due to mouth sores or a sore throat. It can also occur during hot weather or increased physical activity. Recognizing the signs of dehydration, including a dry mouth, few tears, or sunken eyes, is crucial.

Mild cases can be managed at home by offering extra liquids, including oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte. Severe cases may require medical attention in the ER or hospital, emphasizing the importance of tailored treatment.

If your child has mild dehydration and your doctor says it’s OK to start treatment at home

Tending to your child's mild dehydration at home involves providing frequent, small sips of oral rehydration solution (ORS). Administer 1–2 teaspoons every few minutes for infants and 1–2 tablespoons for older kids. While breastfeeding or formula feeding can continue for infants, consider electrolyte ice pops for older children. Despite a potential lack of appetite initially, encouraging regular eating is crucial. As your child's condition improves, transition from ORS to their typical diet. Avoid substituting plain water for ORS in infants and abstain from offering sports drinks, soda, or undiluted juice, as they can worsen symptoms. Always consult with your doctor before administering any medications for diarrhea or vomiting.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

It's time to consult your doctor if your child goes without drinking for more than a few hours.

Seek medical advice if your child, less than one year old, relies solely on oral rehydration solution and abstains from breast milk or formula for a full day.

Seek medical advice if your child goes 3–4 days without commencing solid food intake.

Seek medical attention if your child exhibits symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth, decreased urination, fewer tears, or a sunken soft spot.

Seek medical advice if your child is displaying signs of crankiness, fussiness, or reduced activity levels for an extended period.

Reading next

Preventing Dehydration in Kids: A Comprehensive Guide
Guarding Against Dehydration: A Parent's Handbook

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