What is meant by dehydration?
Dehydration it is a condition in which the body contains an insufficient volume of water for normal functioning.

What are the causes of dehydration in children?

Dehydration is most often caused by:
  • Viral infection:
    that causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and a decreased ability to drink or eat e.g. rotavirus, Norwalk virus and adenovirus.
    Sometimes sores in a child's mouth (caused by a virus) make it painful to eat or drink, which helps to cause or worsen dehydration.
  • More serious bacterial infections:
    may make a child less likely to eat and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.Common bacterial infections include Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter and Clostridium difficile.
  • Parasitic infections:
    such as Giardia lamblia cause the condition known as giardiasis,which can lead to diarrhea and fluid loss.
  • Increased sweating from a very hot environment can cause dehydration.
  • Excessive urination caused by unrecognized or poorly treated diabetes mellitus (not taking insulin) or diabetes insipid us are other causes.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Symptoms of dehydration:
  • Sunken eyes & Sunken soft spot on the front of the head in babies
  • Decreased frequency of urination or dry diapers & No tears when the child cries
  • Dry or sticky mouth or tongue Lethargy (less than normal activity)
  • Irritability (more crying, fussiness with inconsolability)

How to treat dehydration?
  • The main target is fluid replacement by giving child plenty of fluid.
  • Suitable fluid replacement for children younger than two years is done by product designed to replace fluids, sugar and electrolytes (dissolved minerals such as sodium, potassium, and chloride). (E.g.:Hydro safe sachets)
  • Children older than two years may be given flat soda or soup.
    when child is vomiting it may seem that your child is vomiting all that is given, usually an adequate amount of fluid is kept down.
  • After 4 hours from vomiting: bananas, rice, apples, toast, and other simple starches, such as noodles or potatoes) may be started in children who are weaned from formula or breast milk. after one to two days start by normal food gradually.
  • For breast feeding start by 1/2 the amount of milk.

Reference: emedicinehealth

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