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Dehydration in Kids

If a child has mild dehydration what foods should be given?
(July 26, 2010)

Dehydration or depletion of bodily fluids takes place when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Losing abnormal amounts of water and salts due to fever, vomiting or long periods of exercise can cause dehydration. In severe cases it becomes difficult to replace this water simply by drinking or eating as usual. Dehydration is a very serious condition in young children and infants. Parents should know how to recognize dehydration symptoms in children in its early stages. There are mild, moderate and severe stages of dehydration.

Below are a few guidelines which shall help you to recognize dehydration symptoms in children:-
  • Very dry or sticky mouth
  • Scanty tears while crying
  • Eyes seem sunken
  • The soft spot or fontanelle on top of the baby’s head looks sunken
  • Lack of urine
  • Dry and cool skin
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue and dizziness
Remedies for Dehydration: First and foremost, an increased fluid intake is extremely important. There should be a re-hydration phase accompanied by a maintenance phase. The re-hydration stage means the fluid losses are replaced quickly. The hydration stage would include constantly feeding the child with age appropriate foods. Withholding food is not recommended. If it is a case of infant dehydration, breastfeeding should be continued throughout the stages of treatment. Children should be given certain solid foods as and when they learn to tolerate it.

Electrolyte solutions and clear diluted fruit juices should be given regularly to children who are more than a year old. Continue giving the child normal foods as before unless your pediatrician advises otherwise. After administering proper medications, it might take a few days for the stools to return to normal consistency. The doctor will suggest you to keep at least one bottle of ORT handy. ORT or oral rehydration therapy helps protect your child against dehydration, it may not however offer help against diarrhea.

Even if the child is suffering from mild dehydration it is best to take your child to a pediatrician, if the doctor is not available then you can take him to the nearest emergency room. Millions of children throughout the globe are victims of death dehydration that takes place due to diarrhea. Diarrhea is the second leading illness which causes death in children below the age of five. Diarrhea or dysentery in its extreme stages can be fatal to the child and immediate measures should be undertaken once it is diagnosed. Appropriate treatment and rapid rehydration should be immediately implemented in a child suffering from dehydration.
Submitted by A V on July 26, 2010 at 02:26


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