There are many reasons why an infant could become dehydrated, especially when the weather is very warm or your child is ill and has been vomiting or experiencing bouts of diarrhea. It is usually pretty easy to determine if your he or she is dehydrated, and if you notice signs such as tearless crying, very dry lips and mouth, or considerably less wet diapers, you need to treat your baby’s condition quickly before it becomes life-threatening, which can happen in a very short period of time. Signs that your child’s condition has become life-threatening and requires immediate medical treatment, according to babycenter.com are: extreme fussiness, a sunken soft spot (in the center of the head) or cold and blotchy hands and feet. If the dehydration reaches this point you need to seek medical attention immediately so that your child’s fluids can be replenished by IV. However, as long as your child’s dehydration remains mild, there are several ways you can reverse the problem without making a trip to the emergency room.
One way that you can replenish your child’s fluids is to give him or her Pedialyte or some other commercial electrolyte replacement drink. You can purchase Pedialyte or similar products at just about any store that sells baby formula and other baby items. Electrolyte replacement drinks consist of the necessary minerals like calcium, potassium and chloride that will quickly replace fluids and minerals lost during vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, according to Dr. Edward Bell, professor of pediatrics in the UI Carver College of Medicine.
If you’d like to make your own electrolyte drink instead of buying a commercial one, it’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes. The ingredients you’ll need are:
.1 liter of water
. ½ teaspoon of table salt
. ½ teaspoon of baking soda
. 3 ½ tablespoons of sugar
Mix all the ingredients together and give to your child throughout the day. It will work in the same fashion that store-bought electrolyte drinks do, by regulating the body’s fluid and mineral levels.
Fruit juice like orange, apple and grape are excellent alternatives to electrolyte drinks for replenishing fluids, vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t matter if you purchase the juice from the grocery store or make juice from fresh fruit in a juicer, as either will suffice. You also have the option of giving your child vegetable juice as well, but the child will probably enjoy fruit juice better.
Dehydration, especially in an infant can be a dangerous situation, but if you’re able to recognize early symptoms and take the necessary steps to adequately increase your child’s fluid composition then you will be able to avoid any serious complications as well as the need to seek emergency room treatment.