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What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is the depletion of water from your body and occurs when you lose more fluids from your body than you take in. Children are generally more susceptible to dehydration during summer. It can be caused by various reasons such as reduced intake of water, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, excess sweating and increased urination (due to undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes). 

Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry and sticky mouth, tiredness, decreased and dark-coloured urine, dry skin, constipation, headache, dizziness, and sleepiness. The condition is diagnosed with physical signs such as skin lacking normal elasticity and resilience when pinched, sunken eyes and low blood pressure. Your doctor may also order blood tests to measure electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and urinalysis to confirm on dehydration. 

Treatment for Dehydration

Dehydration is treated by replacing the lost fluids. Your child’s paediatrician prescribes an oral rehydration solution that contains water and salts in specific proportions to replace the lost fluid and maintain the electrolyte balance in the body. You may be advised to give small amounts of water at frequent intervals, and avoid milk, fruit juices and caffeinated beverages that aggravate diarrhoea. In case your child is severely dehydrated, intravenous hydration may be provided.

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