Dehydration: Prevention and cure

  • By Team TDO

Playing outside is great for the child’s physical as well mental development. But if your child has spent the entire day outside and comes back with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, and is sweating a lot, then watch out for the signs of dehydration.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration means abnormal loss of water from the body, especially from illness or physical exertion. Under normal conditions we all lose some body water through sweat, urine, and tears. Kids lose large amount of water and salt from body during fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, or long hours of physical activity or exercise without any water intake.

How do I know it is dehydration?

If your child has any of the fever, diarrhoea, vomiting or is sweating a lot on hot days then watch for these signs:

  1. Sunken eyes
  2. Dry or sticky mouth
  3. Dark urine or lack of urine output
  4. Tiredness, lethargy, irritability or fatigue

How can I prevent dehydration?
The best way to prevent dehydration is to ensure the child drinks plenty of fluids when they are sick or physically active. Get your kid in the habit of drinking enough water before he/she even feels thirsty.If it is very hot, explain to the kids the benefits of drinking water frequently. If possible, avoid going out in the sun. Give your kids a well-balanced meal to be sure that they are getting all the adequate nutrients.

What if my kid gets dehydrated?

If the kid is below 1 year, care should be taken to breast feed the baby often. If the dehydration is due to vomiting, feed small amounts frequently for it to absorb in between the vomiting episodes. Give a spoonful of ORS solution every 10 minutes to replace the lost fluids.

For kids above 1 year, start with plain water initially when the kid complains of thirst. Later the kids may need drinks containing sugar and electrolytes. Also, the child should be made to rest at home in a cool environment until the lost fluid has been replaced. Once the child is rehydrated, resume to normal routine and diet.


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