RCH Newsletter July 2016 WaterThe best cure for dehydration, especially in children, is prevention. Keep your children hydrated! They get enough water through drinking and eating. Total water intake for the day (all liquids and foods, including water, milk, soup, etc.) should be about half a gallon. When dehydration gets bad enough to cause symptoms, water might not be enough to make them feel better. Watch for these signs that children need additional help:
• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
• sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
• high fever
• listlessness or irritability
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Dehydration occurs when the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes (the salts potassium and sodium). Dehydration is particularly dangerous for children, who can die from it within a matter of days. Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. To maintain electrolyte levels, you could have broth or soups, which contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables, which contain potassium. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, can help restore electrolytes. For children, doctors often recommend a special re-hydration solution that contains the nutrients they need. You can buy this solution in the grocery store without a prescription. Examples include Pedialyte, Ceralyte, and Infalyte. Untreated, dehydration may lead to shock. If a person with dehydration has a low blood pressure or very rapid pulse, the victim may need to get intravenous fluids. Call 911 for a dehydrated victim suffering from confusion, dizziness, or weakness.

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