Dehydration is considered to be a dangerous thing. However, it is the children and the really old people who are in real danger when dehydration is considered. This is why parents are always on the alert when their child is suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. Parents need not worry too much because there are obvious symptoms that are easily visible if a child is suffering from dehydration. It is important that the symptoms are spotted early, so that dehydration can be avoided.
When does dehydration occur?
Parents need to know that dehydration occurs when a child loses more fluids than he or she takes in. Dehydration is easily prevented by making sure that the child consumes enough fluids. The fluids can be taken in small amounts at times but it is important that they it is taken. However, parents need to avoid giving too much fluid at one time because that usually ends up in vomiting.
The signs and symptoms
There are several signs and symptoms of dehydration that occur in almost all cases and parents should look out for those. Weight loss is one sign and it correlates to how dehydrated a child is. Parents should also pay attention on the urination of children and how often they perform it. Less frequent urination is one of the signs. A moist tongue and mouth, along with tears and sunken eyes is another sure sign of dehydration. Capillary refill is another way a parent can check whether his or her child is experiencing dehydration.
Symptoms of minimal dehydration
Most children who are sick will experience minimal or no dehydration. Some of the signs of minimal dehydration are normal thirst, a moist tongue and mouth, decreased urine output, no more than 3% weight loss, capillary refill after 2 seconds and eyes not sunken.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration
As the dehydration progresses, the child will feel tired and restless and parents will have more problems getting them to drink fluids. Some of the symptoms that occur in this situation are increased thirst, a dry mouth and tongue, decreased urine output, up to 9% weight loss, normal to increased heart rate and breathing, slightly sunken eyes and capillary refill greater than 2 seconds. If these signs appear, the child should be taken to the pediatrician.
Symptoms of severe dehydration
In case of severe dehydration a child needs to be taken to the hospital straight away. A child will appear lethargic and may even unconscious. Symptoms are inability to drink, a parched mouth and tongue, minimal to no urine output, more than 9% weight loss, increased heart rate and deeply sunken eyes.