Dehydration means that a person’s body has lesser fluids than what it needs. It is a problem that can affect a person of any age, right from new born babies to balding oldies, especially in summers. However, one needs to take extreme care in case of toddlers, since a dehydrated baby can hardly understand the problem on his own and make you understand the same. At the same time, infants are always much more prone to dehydration than adults, especially when they take in less fluid than they lose through sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. In extreme cases, the lack of fluids might also become life threatening.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The usual symptoms of dehydration in infants are:
- A dry nappy for six hours at a stretch
- Change of less than six nappies in a 24-hour period
- Absence of tears while crying
- Dry and parched lips
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Low energy levels
- Passage of dark yellow urine, persistently
- Sunken fontanelle (soft spot)
Causes of Dehydration
The following reasons could lead to dehydration in a child:
- The most common cause of dehydration in a toddler is fever. This is because when a child has fever, he sweats and this leads to loss of water.
- If a child indulges in too much activity on a very hot day or stays in a stuffy room for too long, it may lead to too much sweating. The ultimate result will be dehydration.
- If you child is suffering from diarrhea, he will lose lots of fluids from the body - another factor resulting in dehydration.
- Too much vomiting by an infant also results in the loss of fluids and ultimately leads to dehydration.
Home Remedies for Dehydration in Infants
You can make use of the following home remedies to ensure that you child’s dehydration is treated at the right time and doesn’t get out of hand.
- Make sure that your child drinks lots of fluids, in the form of breast milk, water, infant formula, etc. Even after this, if the child shows signs of dehydration, increase the frequency of feeds.
- During summer season, try to keep your baby in a cool place as much as possible. Too much sweating is one of the main causes of dehydration.
- Before your child goes out to play, especially in the sun, make sure that he is fully hydrated.
- If the dehydration is because of diarrhea or vomiting, give your baby an electrolyte solution. The frequency should be every half-hour to an hour, after the baby has stopped vomiting.
- Don't give your child any anti-nausea medicines, without consulting the doctor.
If even after you have made use of the home remedies for dehydration, a child shows the following signs, it is the time to call a doctor.
- Cold and splotchy hands and feet
- Too much lethargy
- Sunken eyes