Dehydration is a rather serious condition and can be defined as a lack of fluid. It can occur due to many reasons starting with insufficient intake of fluids to rapid loss of fluids. Dehydration may occur in numerous medical conditions. This medical condition can affect everybody but it can cause serious complications if it occurs in infants and small children since their bodies are not well-adapted to sudden changes. Infants are rather susceptible to dehydration and they can lose fluid quickly.
Symptoms of Dehydration in Infants
Parents should pay attention to certain symptoms which may point to dehydration. They should be even more careful if a child is ill since dehydration easily occurs if the child is already suffering from some other underlying condition.
The most common signs of dehydration are dry and sticky mouth. The lips are also dry. The infant also does not urinate because the kidneys do not excrete urine so baby's diapers may be completely dry for several hours. Diapers may also be wet but the color of urine is darker hence the trace of urine on the diapers may be darker as well.
In dehydration infants become lethargic, lose energy and may sleep more than usual. Their eyes may appear sunken. The most prominent sign of serious dehydration is a sunken fontanel.
Causes of Dehydration in Infants
In infants each and every disease may cause dehydration. This is why parents need to take proper care and make sure their child takes plenty of fluid.
Fever is the most common cause of dehydration in infants. During fever the body sweats and releases water in order to decrease body temperature. If there is not sufficient intake of fluids dehydration occurs.
Diarrhea is another cause of dehydration. This particularly refers to watery diarrhea where the infant may develop dehydration quite fast.
Vomiting is another cause of dehydration. In infants who are vomiting it is hard to increase intake of fluids orally and this is why they are most commonly given fluids intravenously.
If a child is exposed to high temperatures and parents do not take care of proper intake of fluids, an infant may develop dehydration.
Treatment for Dehydration in Infants
In case that an infant loses fluids and if dehydration occurs the best thing parents should do is to increase intake of fluids. Rehydration is essential in obtaining the balance of fluid in the body. The underlying cause determines the path of rehydration. If a child is vomiting the best way of rehydration is administration of fluids intravenously. This can be also performed if a child is suffering from frequent watery diarrhea. Normally the doctors will treat the underlying cause. If a child is having a fever proper intake of fluids can prevent dehydration.