Dehydration

  • Decreased fluids in the body
  • Symptoms may include increased thirst, dry lips or mouth, low urine output, increased heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Caused most commonly due to vomiting or diarrhea but may also be caused by reduced fluid intake, fever or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females
  • Can occur at any age but most common in young children and infants
  • May be mild to severe depending on underlying cause and other complications

  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially water)
  • When vomiting:
    • Give small amounts of room temperature fluid frequently (5 ml or 1 teaspoon every minute)
    • If vomiting occurs again, wait 30-60 minutes
    • Use oral rehydration solutions:
    • Pedialyte
    • Carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks
    • Mix ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 liter water (measure exact)
  • Continue to breast feed sick babies
  • Avoid salty broths, milk, sodas and fruit juices
  • Suck on small pieces of ice (not small enough to choke on!)
  • Severe dehydration needs immediate medical attention

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