Early Signs That Your Child Might Be Dehydrated
This post may contain affiliate links. Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluids than you take in. One of the most obvious early signs of dehydration is thirst. However, thirst is not something you can count on to tell you that you are dehydrated. One of the reasons why thirst is not dependable is that certain individuals do not experience thirst until they have already been dehydrated for awhile.
Most people think dehydration is more of a problem during the summer. It’s true that summer is a high-risk month for dehydration because of sweating. However, during cooler months of the year, dehydration can be a problem as well. This is because people don’t get as thirsty when the weather is cold. Also, during cold weather there is less moisture in the air. Young children and older adults are the most at-risk for dehydration. But anyone can become dehydrated.
And children do not always drink enough liquids. For example, when my son, Nathan, was younger, I tried to follow the typical advice of limiting juice because, “If he gets thirsty enough, he’ll drink water.” I was hoping he would start drinking water.
Wrong. IT NEVER HAPPENED.
To this day, I can hardly get him to drink more than one or two swigs of water. So, how do I know when he is dehydrated? Another of the early signs of dehydration is dry, scaly skin. When my son gets dry, scaly skin, I know it’s time to make him soup, because this is one of the ways I can be sure he is getting enough fluids.
So, how can you tell if your child or other loved one is dehydrated?
Below are more early signs of dehydration.
Infant or young child
Dry mouth and tongue
No tears when crying
No wet diapers for three hours
Sunken eyes, cheeks
Sunken soft spot on top of skull
Listlessness or irritability
Less frequent urination
When to see a doctor
Call your family doctor if you or a loved one:
Has had diarrhea for 24 hours or more
Is irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual
Can’t keep down fluids
Has bloody or black stool