Tag Archive | "dehydration in children"

Dehydration In Children

Children are more prone to dehydration than adults. It occurs when the body lacks enough fluid. Dehydration in children can be lethal. Here is a guide to help you become more aware of this condition so you can protect your toddler from this life-threatening illness.


Lack of Fluids

The most obvious reason why a toddler gets dehydrated is because he is not drinking enough liquids, especially during the summer season or when doing vigorous activities.

Viral and Bacterial Infections

Dehydration is most often caused by a viral infection like rotavirus and adenovirus (infections of the lung, stomach, intestine and eyes) or a bacterial infection such as salmonella or e-coli. Viral and bacterial infections can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased ability to eat and drink, draining the body of important body fluids.

Parasitic Infections

Parasitic diseases such as Giardia lamblia – a parasite responsible for a transmittable form of diarrhea.

Medical Conditions

Cystic fibrosis and medical conditions that cause excessive urination such as diabetes can cause dehydration. Some medications that are prescribed to toddlers can also lead to fluid loss.

Signs and Symptoms

If a toddler is dehydrated, he may show one or more of these symptoms:

  • Decreased frequency of urination (may go up to 12 hours without urinating and if he does urinate, his urine looks darker and smells stronger than usual)
  • No tears while crying
  • Dry or sticky mouth and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy (feeling exhausted and sluggish)
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst

When To Call A Doctor

If your toddler is dehydrated, it would be best to call the doctor for advice and to make sure your toddler is not seriously dehydrated. But, if you notice your toddler shows serious signs of dehydration - temperature is higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, severe abdominal pain and frequent vomiting, take your toddler to the emergency room right away.


Increase Fluid Intake

If your doctor recommends it, you may let your toddler drink an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte and ReVital. You may also offer freezer pops, flat soda, ice chips and clear soup. If he has trouble keeping the solution down, try giving him 1 tablespoon of liquid every 15 minutes. Steer clear of plain water, gelatine, juices, sodas, chicken broth and sports drinks as they do not have the necessary electrolytes to replace the lost fluids in the body.


Give your toddler the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples and toast) 4 hours after vomiting stops. After 24 to 48 hours, you can continue on your toddler’s regular diet.

Keep Your Toddler Comfortable

Stay in a well-ventilated place. Dress your toddler in lightweight clothing. See to it your toddler gets plenty of rest and do not allow him to play physically demanding games for the mean time. Read a book, talk, listen to music or play board games to keep him entertained.

IV Fluids

For severe dehydration, your toddler might have to stay in the hospital and receive IV fluids through an intravenous tube until he is rehydrated.

Dehydration is a serious condition. But, you can prevent your toddler from getting dehydrated by making sure your child is consuming plenty of fluids throughout the day, maintaining a healthy diet and getting adequate rest.

Posted in Health, Toddler SicknessComments (0)

Ways To Prevent Dehydration In Children

Toddlers love being outside especially when the sky is clear and the sun is shining bright. However, being exposed to too much heat can cause dehydration. Here are seven simple tips on preventing dehydration in children.

Give Your Toddler Plenty of Fluids

Limit your toddler’s intake of sugary and carbonated drinks such as juice, shakes, soda and iced tea as these can cause dehydration. Stick to water. Water is the best drink you can offer your toddler. Encourage your little one to drink lots of water (suggested water intake for children is at least 8 glasses per day) especially when it is very warm or when he is actively playing. No matter where your toddler goes, always see to it he brings a bottle of water with him.

Dress Your Toddler Comfortably

Layering during very hot days is a no-no. Make sure your little one is dressed as comfortable as possible. Choose clothes that are loose-fitting, lightweight and made from natural fabrics such as cotton to allow the skin to breathe. Opt for clothes in pastel colors instead of dark-colored clothes since light colors reflect light while dark ones absorb it. The more heat his clothing absorbs, the hotter your toddler will feel causing him to overheat.

Include Water-rich Foods Into Your Toddler’s Diet

Giving your toddler soup during hot days is pointless. Feed your toddler foods that have high water content such as carrots, cabbage, cucumber, radish, spinach, squash, tomatoes, apples, grapes, watermelon, lychee, peaches, oranges and popsicles to keep your toddler hydrated.

Manage Your Toddler’s Activities

A toddler playing at the playground during midday will surely get dehydrated because the sun is at its highest. Keep your toddler inside your home or in the shade from 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Ask your little one to take a water break every 15 to 20 minutes when playing outside so he can cool down and replenish the lost fluids in his body.

Offer An Electrolyte Drink

If your toddler refuses to drink water because he is suffering from diarrhea, fever or vomiting, give your toddler an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte, PediaVance or ReVital. This special liquid refills the water and salt his body has lost, preventing dehydration.

Give Pain Relievers

A toddler who is in extreme pain due to an illness (e.g. sore throat or hand, foot and mouth disease) has a possibility to stop drinking fluids. Give the sick child pain reliever such as children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve the discomfort and encourage him to drink liquids in small amounts.

Watch Your Toddler

Always keep a close eye on your toddler when he is outside. Watch for signs of dehydration. Oftentimes, children look fine after drinking water or after staying in the shade for a few minutes but it does not mean they are not dehydrated.

Dehydration is a dangerous condition especially to toddlers as they need ample nutrition and water in order to maintain their growth. Hence, adult supervision is needed to ensure dehydration is prevented.

Posted in Child Health Issues, HealthComments (0)

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments


April 2015
« May