Dehydration is the loss of water and salts from the body. Babies and children are particularly at risk of dehydration during hot weather or when they become unwell from gastro, fever or intense physical activity.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration: Hydralyte (1)

  • Eyes that look sunken into the head.
  • Dry, cool skin.
  • Not passing urine or only passing small amounts of dark yellow urine.
  • Dry or sticky mouth.
  • White coated tongue.
  • Little or no tears when crying.
  • Sunken (fontanelle) soft spot on the top of baby’s head.
  • Irritable.
  • Drowsiness and sleeping more than usual.

Treating dehydration

  • Replace fluids to restore body fluids.
  • If you are breastfeeding continue to do this, feeding more frequently.
  • Give oral rehydration solution such as (GastrolyteTM, HYDRAlyteTM, Pedialyte or Repalyte ) follow the instructions and small sips can be given every 10-15 minutes.
  • Give water to children with dehydration due to overexertion, allowing them to drink as much as they want.
  • Encourage rest.
  • Some babies or children may need to be treated in hospital for dehydration if their condition is severe or does not improve.

Points to remember

  • Ensure that children and babies get plenty of fluids when they are sick, the weather is hot or they are physically active.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration.
  • See your GP or emergency department if you are concerned.

Paediatric First Aid Courses For Parents  Learn More

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