Dehydration refers to a condition when the amount of fluid in a person's body is less than the ideal requirement. Babies and infants are commonly susceptible to dehydration. Dehydration in babies occurs mainly when they take in less fluid than they lose, typically through vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or perspiration. While dehydration is often mild and easily reversible, sometimes it can also be serious and potentially life threatening.
The following symptoms indicate that your child could be getting dehydrated:
- Your baby does not pass urine for more than six hours.
- Your baby's urine is dark yellow in appearance and smells quite strong.
- Your baby's appears lethargic.
- Your baby's mouth is dry or the lips are parched.
The following symptoms indicate that your baby has serious dehydration:
- Your baby's eyes are sunken in the sockets.
- Your baby's hands and feet feel cold and appear splotchy.
- Your baby experiences dizziness or seems delirious.
Here is what you can do:
- If you suspect your baby is becoming dehydrated, consult a pediatrician immediately. You could give your baby a special electrolyte liquid drink that is designed to help recover lost water and salts from the body.
- If you suspect serious dehydration, rush your baby to the emergency room. Babies get dehydrated quickly and an intravenous infusion may be necessary to restore the balance of fluids.
Note: Do not give your baby one of the sports drinks that are advertised to help sportsmen cope with dehydration; while these contain electrolytes, their sugar concentration is too high. Use Pedialyte, Infalyte, ReVital, or similar brands of electrolyte liquids that are specially designed to help rehydrate children. You may continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby.
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.