What are the Common Signs of Dehydration?

If you ask ten kids what their favorite season is, what do you think the most popular answer will be? Summer, of course! Not only is the weather warm, but kids often have a three month school break. It’s no wonder they love to be outside as much as possible during this season, taking full advantage of every day. Many parents have fond memories of their own childhood summers, and want their kids to have their own fun experiences.

Looking after the health of your children during summer months is all about balance – of course you want them to have fun, but there are also a number of health risks to be aware of. Bug bites, rashes, scrapes and falls – these are all typical concerns, but with proper precautions they can be prevented. Teaching your kids better safety awareness is a great way to do this.

Dehydration is another problem that can occur – especially as kids have so much energy, and will often reach for sugary drinks instead of water for hydration. Here are a few signs of dehydration to be aware of:

  • Chapped or dry lips/mouth
  • Abnormal fatigue in the middle of the day
  • Crying without tears
  • Urinating less, and/or urine that is darker than usual
  • Skin that seems dry and cold
  • Irritability and fussiness

Obviously, many of these symptoms could be related to other illnesses or conditions – but if you notice more than one of these symptoms, especially in warm weather, it could be that your child is dehydrated.

Young children can also become dehydrated due to fluid loss from illness, and/or not getting enough hydrating liquids during an illness. Most cases of dehydration in children are caused by viral illness. In these cases, oral hydration packets are a simple and effective way increase fluid retention and allow the body to re-hydrate properly.

To prevent mild dehydration during summer activity, there are a couple of things parents can do. One is to make sure children aren’t using too many sugary or fizzy beverages to quench their thirst. Water is of course the best drink for hydration, but other healthy drinks are helpful too. Hydration packets can also be used in preventative doses as well, especially if your child has a history of dehydration. This should be something you do with advice from your doctor or nurse.

Proper sun protection, including sunscreen, hats and clothing, will also keep your child cool and lower the risk of dehydration.

Visiting an urgent care center for dehydration

If you think your child might be suffering dehydration or another medical issue that needs professional attention, your local urgent care center is a great choice. There are no appointments needed, you’ll be quickly seen by a qualified doctor or nurse, and urgent care centers can handle a wide variety of non-life threatening medical situations. Make sure you know how to get to a reputable urgent care center in your area, so that you’ll have quick access to convenient medical care this summer if you need it!