Dr. Kara Beair, DO & Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC
Inspiring Strategies for Success by Friends and Experts You Can Trust
Dehydration is dangerous to kids and adults alike. Kids present a bigger challenge in this arena because let’s face it – they just get so busy! Some kids drink a lot while they play, and some are just too focused on their activities to stop and drink.
Signs of Mild to Moderate Dehydration
- Playing less than usual
- Urinating less frequently (for infants, fewer than six wet diapers per day)
- Parched, dry mouth
- Fewer tears when crying
- Sunken soft spot of the head in an infant or toddler
Signs of Severe Dehydration (includes signs above)
- Very fussy
- Excessively sleepy
- Sunken eyes
- Cool, discolored hands and feet
- Wrinkled skin
- Urinates only one to two times per day
(Stools will be loose if dehydration is caused by diarrhea. Decreased bowel movements are caused by lack of fluid intake, or fluid loss resulting from other issues such as vomiting).
Consult your physician immediately if you suspect dehydration; go to the nearest ER if necessary.
How to Get Creative While Encouraging Hydration
- Model hydration yourself – kids do as they see
- Buy the kids a fun water bottle (let them pick)
- Make fun ice cubes in shapes for their drinks, or put fruit or fruit juice in the ice to make cubes fun and different
- Serve lots of water-packed fruits all day such as kiwis, strawberries, watermelon, etc.
- Serve frozen pops; have kids make them to encourage consumption
- Experiment with your kids favorite drinks – have them mix and match fun combinations
- If your kids like gelatin treats, serve those – again, have the kids participate in making them
- If you don’t want all the sugar in certain drinks, frozen pops and gelatin treats, you can select sugar free versions. Be very careful; if you are not used to using a lot of sugar free products, you need to be aware some of them can cause diarrhea and can make kids feel bad if they consume too much. Integrate these treats slowly and with moderation.
Some of the information in this article was adapted from “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5” (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)
Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oklahoma and National Certified Counselor
DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this email or blog and any related links is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. You must never consider any of the information presented here as a substitute for consulting with your physician or health care provider for any medical/mental health conditions or concerns. Any information presented here is general information, is not medical advice, nor is it intended as advice for your personal situation. Please consult with your physician or health care provider if you have concerns about your health or suspect that you might have a problem.
Photo credit © Elena Stepanova