Preschooler

Symptoms of dehydration in a child - when the situation is serious

Symptoms of dehydration in a child - when the situation is serious


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Dehydration of a child is a very serious condition, especially in infants. It occurs most often as a result of diarrhea and vomiting, both acute and chronic. The reason can also be different - gastroenteritis. What are the symptoms of dehydration in a child and what to do to prevent them?

What is dehydration?

We talk about dehydration when there is a dangerous reduction in water and electrolyte levels. This condition is life threatening.

How fast does dehydration occur?

The younger the child, the faster he dehydrates. This is because babies and toddlers have a very fast metabolism, less water reserve, as well as an unfavorable body-to-volume ratio in this respect. In case of severe diarrhea or vomiting dehydration may occur within a few hours of the first symptoms.

Symptoms of dehydration in a child

  • apathy, irritability, drowsiness,
  • the child is exhausted
  • Rare and scanty urination (for babies with diarrhea this may be difficult to see)
  • dark yellow urine, intense smell,
  • parched lips
  • dry tongue
  • bloated stomach,
  • dry mucous membranes in the mouth
  • sunken darkness in an infant,
  • weight loss
  • sunken eyeballs - sharper facial features,
  • dry mucous membranes and dry skin,
  • cry without tears
  • increased thirst (it does not always have to appear! Sometimes the child refuses to drink, which should bother, especially with increased vomiting),
  • slow reactions to external stimuli.

For more severe dehydration:

  • increased heart rate
  • inflexible skin - after pinching, the skin does not return to its original state.

In the third degree of dehydration:

  • convulsions,
  • drop in blood pressure
  • loss of consciousness
  • splashing through hands.

What is the degree of dehydration?

If your child has dehydration symptoms and the condition is getting worse by the minute, see a doctor. He can determine the degree of dehydration.

For infants, it is unlikely to go without a hospital and intravenous irrigation. Toddlers and preschoolers with mild dehydration can most often stay at home with the recommendation of oral irrigation.

How to prevent dehydration in a child?

  • give small amounts of water / breast milk 15 minutes after vomiting,
  • the child should drink as little liquid as possible - a teaspoon, a small sip, even if he demands more, we do not serve. We will drink a small sip every few minutes so as not to induce vomiting,
  • do not give the child juices or sweet drinks,
  • administer the rehydration fluid within 3 hours of the first symptoms appearing,
  • not force food
  • use probiotics that help rebuild the intestinal microflora.

If despite the efforts, the child is still vomiting and his condition is getting worse, it is necessary to contact a doctor.