Dehydration in infant or toddler occurs when there is not enough fluid in the body. This can occur because your child is not drinking enough or because the body is losing too much fluid, usually by vomiting, diarrhea or both.
It is important to recognize dehydration and take appropriate steps. Severe dehydration can lead to shock.
Your child will be thirsty. If she is able to, she may be asking for drinks.
She may also complain of a dry mouth.
The following are all signs of dehydration in an infant or child. The symptoms at the top are the first to appear:
Make sure she has enough fluids and if necessary give extra fluids. If giving extra fluids, it is best to give a oral rehydration solution.
Oral rehydration solution is a special mix of water, glucose (sugar) and electrolytes like salt.It is specially formulated to help dehydration in infant and toddlers. It helps keep the blood chemistry stable.
You can buy oral rehydration solution (or ORS) at your local pharmacy - look out for Gastrolyte, Dioralyte, Pedialyte, Rehydralyte.
You should not use normal drinking fluids (like Lemonade or Cola) to rehydrate your child for any length of time.
As a guide, give 1ml of oral rehydration fluid per kilogram weight every 5 minutes over the first few hours (4 or 5 hours) will ensure your child keep hydrated. 30 ml is equivalent to 1 ounce (oz).
Lemonade ice blocks (ice lollies) are a good way to get fluid into a toddler - each one has about 60 ml (2 oz) of fluid.
Give small amounts frequently. This may mean a spoonful every few minutes (as above). A small amount of fluid is more likely to be absorbed. If the vomiting continues, you will need to seek medical attention.
Yes you can make your own ORS for dehydration in infant and toddlers. Mix the following together until the salt and sugar are dissolved and then keep in the fridge:
See you doctor if your child:
Last reviewed 25 May 2011.
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