Unfortunately, not every parent knows how to recognize dehydration, but they should.

A national survey was taken a few years ago to determine how many parents are knowledgeable about dehydration. Unfortunately, the survey found that three out of five parents still need to know more about dehydration. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to hospitalization and many serious complications. Although illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting make your child susceptible to dehydration all year, activities that lead to excessive sweating can also cause dehydration, so it’s important to know the signs.

The Signs of Dehydration:

  • Mouth is dry or sticky
  • Very few (or no) tears when crying
  • The fontanelle (soft spot on infant’s head) looks sunken
  • Eyes look sunken in
  • Skin that is cool and dry
  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • No or very little urine for a 12 hour period
  • Irritability or lethargy
  • No or very little urine in infant’s diaper for six to eight hours

When should you call your doctor?

Young children can become mildly or moderately dehydrated fairly easily, especially if the child in question has been vomiting or having diarrhea. Call the doctor if you notice that your child:

  • Has dry eyes or mouth
  • Has decreased or dark yellow urination
  • Is irritable
  • Vomits more than just once
  • Isn’t eating or drinking enough
  • Looks tired
  • Is under a year old

When should you call 911?

In cases that are more severe, you cannot wait to get help from your doctor. Call 911 if you notice that your child:

  • Has no tears or an extremely dry mouth
  • Is lethargic
  • Isn’t able to think clearly or isn’t alert
  • Passes Out
  • Doesn’t urinate for more than 12 hours (for older kids)
  • Is too dizzy or weak to stand

At Child’s World Academy, our day care in Newtown is dedicated to helping your kids enjoy a fun, safe and educational summer. Learn tips for preventing dehydration when you stay tuned for our child care expert’s next blog.