Dehydration in children is quite common. It happens when a child loses more fluid than they’re taking. Dehydration in children is dangerous as it can lead to other conditions or even death if ignored. That’s why it’s critical to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of dehydration in children so we can take the proper measures. At Nebraska Home Pediatrics, we offer in-clinic IV fluid rehydration for children and adults. One of our goals is to keep patients out of the Emergency Department. Sometimes all you need are IV fluids to get you back to feeling better.
How do we get dehydrated?
Common causes of dehydration include excessive fluid loss from illnesses, such as gastrointestinal illnesses with diarrhea and/or vomiting. Fevers and excessive sweating from the heat can cause us to become dehydrated from fluid loss from the skin when our body heats up. Another cause of dehydration includes inadequate fluid intake when we have a sore throat or upset stomach and don’t want to drink.
Children are much more susceptible to getting dehydrated because they have a higher frequency of diarrhea and/or vomiting episodes; they have a quicker insensible fluid loss when compared to adults; they are unable to communicate when they need fluids, and they are unable to independently access fluids to orally rehydrate.
Signs and Symptoms of Mild to Moderate Dehydration in Children
- Little of No Play
- Decrease urination in infants
- Increased thirst and dry mouth
- Fewer tears
- Sunken fontanelle or soft spot in infants and toddler
- Loose stool in the form of diarrhea
Signs and Symptoms of Severe Dehydration in Children
- Too much sleeping
- Less frequent urination
- Wrinkled skin
- Sunken eyes
- Cold and discolored feet and hands
Treating Dehydration in Children
Mildly dehydrated children can usually be managed at home and rehydrated through oral hydration. It is recommended to use a standard commercially prepared and premixed oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, when rehydrating at home. It is essential for parents and caregivers to quickly recognize treatment failure and signs of worsening illness requiring evaluation by a medical provider.
Some children require IV fluids for rehydration. At Nebraska Home Pediatrics, we have exam rooms furnished with reclining chairs and televisions so parents can relax with their children while receiving IV fluids. Many times, children will have obvious improvement after one round of IV fluids.
Treating Dehydration in Adults
Most adults can safely rehydrate at home. As soon as you first notice signs of dehydration, begin rehydrating by consuming fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions. Certain foods, like fruits and vegetables, have a high water content and can also assist with rehydration.
If you are unable to rehydrate safely at home, it is time to contact a medical provider for evaluation. Nebraska Home Pediatrics also offers IV fluids for rehydration in adults. We have three exam rooms furnished with reclining chairs and televisions so you can sit back and relax while receiving your IV fluids.
Do you offer vitamins or other supplements with your IV infusions?
We do not offer vitamins or other supplements in our IV infusions.
Think you or your child may need IV rehydration? Call Nebraska Home Pediatrics to schedule an appointment with a medical provider for an evaluation.