The Facts About Dehydration

shot of a boy drinking a glass of waterThe onset of dehydration may happen quickly for a variety of reasons and we want to fill you in on what to look for, especially when it comes to the kiddos.

The most obvious cause of dehydration is brought on from becoming overheated. During the summer, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun of being in the sun while forgetting to hydrate.

Physical activity at any time of year, such as exercise or sports may lead to dehydration as well. While sweat is important to keep the body cool during these times, it also drains your body of water through the skin. Replenishing during physical activity is of the utmost importance.

Illness may lead to dehydration of the body through vomiting or  diarrhea which may lead to dry heaving and more pain.

A 2% loss of body fluids causes a 20% decrease in physical performance and mental performance such as inaccurate short-term memory. Any dehydration levels exceeding 3% may lead to stroke.

If you are concerned about dehydration in your child, here is a list of symptoms to look for:

  • Fatigue and/or dizziness in older children
  • Sunken in soft spot on infants
  • dry or cool skin
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • little to no tears when crying
  • dry mouth
  • sticky mouth
  • eyes that appear to be sunken in
  • lack of urine for 12 hours in older children OR a small amount of dark yellow urine
  • lack of urine or wet diapers for small children and infants within 6 to 8 hours OR small amount of dark yellow urine

Tips on staying hydrated:

  • WATER, WATER, WATER!! We know that you already thought of this, but do you know how much water your body needs on a daily basis? Water consumption is different for each individual according to their body weight, check out this hydration calculator which asks a series of questions to determine your daily intake. Retake the quiz again when there is a change of season on temperature as these circumstances play a role in the bodies water retention. Note: do NOT consume all of your daily water consumption in one sitting!
  • keep cool water available, children are more likely to drink water when it’s been chilled.
  • straws are a great way to get the kids to drink more, find some fun and silly straws to make it more fun!
  • freeze ice in unique kid-friendly shapes and drop into their water bottles
  • consume fruit high in water content such as watermelon, pineapples, plums, peaches, and raspberries. All of these fruits contain a water content of 85% or higher.
  • Popsicles! The kids will always say yes to a yummy treat. The best type of popsicles are the homemade kind. This way your children will consume less sugar and can even partake in the making of them! (Stay tuned for recipes in future blog posts).
  • Set the example for the little ones and drink plenty of water as well. Encourage them to nourish their bodies for future health purposes.

shark fin ice cube trayPrincess star ice cube tray

If severe hydration is suspected, review this article on recommendations for treating and contact your physician.

****Please note: we are not doctors or medical professionals. These are tips and suggestions based on our research, as always, speak with your medical professional before taking emergency actions.

Photo sources: Empower Network, Amazon

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