When a child or infant loses enough body fluid to be unable to perform their normal functions, it is called dehydration. Dry skin, dry lips and tongue, rapid breathing, less wet diapers, and tears do not accompany those are all signs of dehydration.
What Is Dehydration
A condition where a person loses too much body fluid to function is typically called dehydration. Vomiting, diarrhea and insufficient water intake can all lead to dehydration. A child may not be able to drink or eat normally if they have severe dehydration. The child may need to be admitted to a hospital in these situations.
The Etiology of Children’s Dehydration
Dehydration can occur from:
• Fluid loss increases
• Reduced fluid intake
Most fluid loss occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, which can be caused by vomiting, diarrhea or both (e.g. gastroenteritis). There are also other sources, such as renal (e.g. diabetic ketoacidosis), skin (e.g. excessive sweating, burns), or 3rd-space loss (e.g. into the intestinal lumen for bowel obstruction, ileus).
A decrease in fluid intake can occur during mild illnesses like pharyngitis or serious illnesses. A decreased fluid intake can be especially problematic if the child is experiencing vomiting, fever, tachypnea or both. This could also indicate child neglect.
Pathophysiology and Treatment of Children with Dehydration
Electrolytes of varying concentrations can cause fluid loss. The cause of fluid loss can vary in the exact amount and type. A significant amount of bicarbonate can be lost due to diarrhea. This could lead to metabolic acidosis.
However, if vomiting causes hydrogen ions to be lost, this could lead to metabolical alkalosis. Fluid that is lost has a lower sodium concentration than plasma. In this case, the serum sodium levels rise (hypernatremia) without fluid replacement.
Children’s Dehydration Signs and Symptoms
The severity of the dehydration and symptoms vary depending on how severe it is as well as the serum sodium level. Children with hypernatremia are sicker due to fluid shifting out of their interstitial space into the vascular area.
Children with hypernatremia tend to have better hemodynamics, such as less tachycardia, better urine output, and less hyponatremia. This is because fluid has shifted from the vascular space. Hyponatremia-dehydrated children may not appear severely dehydrated, but they are closer to cardiovascular collapse and hypotension than similarly dehydrated children with normal or elevated sodium levels.
Symptoms of Mild to Moderate Dehydration
• Less than normal activity
• Urinates less often (infants, less than six wet diapers per night)
• Dry, parched mouth
• In an infant or toddler, a sunken soft spot on the head
• If dehydration is caused due to diarrhea, stool movements will decrease if there is another fluid loss (vomiting or lack of fluid intake).
Symptoms of Severe Dehydration
• Extremely fussy
• Excessive sleep
• Sunken eyes
• Cool, discolored feet and hands
• Wrinkled skin
• Urinating only two to three times per day
Treating Dehydration in Toddlers
Rehydrating the fluids is the only way to treat dehydration effectively. Mild dehydration is manageable at home. These steps can be taken if your toddler is experiencing symptoms of mild dehydration, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
1. Pedialyte is an oral rehydration product that can be given to your child. It is unlikely that plain water will suffice. You can use milk or diluted water until you have an oral rehydration remedy.
2. Please continue to give your toddler liquids slowly until they can pass urine. Your toddler may be vomiting if you give them a little bit at a time. Although they may not be able to eat more than one spoonful, it is better than nothing. Gradually increase the amount and frequency of your intake. Too much can cause vomiting to return. You can also choose to get alkaline water deliver in Los Angeles from aDivineh2o.
3. Breastfeeding should continue if you’re still doing so. Your baby can be given a rehydration product in their bottle.
You can manage dehydration at home by giving your toddler fluids, such as milk, water or a mixture of the three. If your toddler vomits, wait for about 20 minutes before trying again. Don’t force your toddler to finish fluids if they don’t want to. It is important to know the signs of dehydration and the treatment for dehydration in toddlers. If you suspect your toddler is severely dehydrated, seek immediate medical attention for further assessment and treatment.