A former paramedic has warned parents of babies and young children to watch out for overlooked health “red flags” she says many don’t take as seriously as they should.
Nikki Jurcutz, founder of a parenting organization Education of little heartssaid that if a baby is nursing and wetting diapers less than usual, it could be a sign of dehydration.
The mother of two said children can become dehydrated much faster than adults, especially when they are sick.
If a child is not feeling well, parents should monitor how often the child eats, drinks, and urinates to track fluids coming in and going out.
She said that while it may be normal for a child not to want to eat or drink as much when sick, it’s important for parents to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
A former paramedic has revealed that parents of young children often overlook ‘red flags’ that could be a sign a child is dehydrated (stock image)
Mum-of-two Nikki Jurcutz (pictured), founder of Tiny Hearts Education, said children who eat, drink and urinate less could be dehydrated.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration to watch for in children
Mild to moderate dehydration
- Dry lips, tongue, mouth and throat
- Darker or smellier diapers/pee
- Reduced wet diapers/going to the bathroom less often
- Lethargic and sleepy
- Extremely thirsty
- No tears while crying
- Coated tongue
- Rapid breathing
- Pale in color
- Fontanelle and sunken eyes
- Fast heartbeat
- Cold to the touch (especially hands and feet)
Source: Education of little hearts
“Don’t ignore this sign. If your baby is nursing less and you notice that the number of wet diapers is fewer than usual, I want you to be more attentive,” he said. job at the Tiny Hearts Instagram page read.
“This is something you need to pay special attention to when your little ones are sick. It’s normal that they don’t want to eat as much, and sometimes they don’t drink as much as usual.
Nikki listed additional signs of dehydration to watch for beyond reduced thirst, appetite, and frequency of urination.
Dry lips, tongue, mouth and throat, nausea, headache, darker or smellier pee, no tears when crying, faster breathing, and sunken or sunken eyes are common symptoms. Things parents should pay attention to.
According to a Little Heart BlogThere are many ways a child can become dehydrated, including not eating or drinking enough, feeling sick, exercising a lot or running around, vomiting and having diarrhea, or taking certain drugs.
The best way to treat mild dehydration in toddlers is to provide them with more fluids to drink by offering oral rehydration solutions like Hydralyte or Gastrolyte, cooled boiled water, or even apple juice diluted for 12 hours.
If they are younger than six months, Nikki recommends offering them the breast or formula as often as possible and taking them to a doctor.
For older children weighing more than 10 kg, it is recommended to give a cup of water or oral rehydration solution every four hours – extra in case of vomiting or diarrhea.
Children who can consume solid foods should be offered foods rich in liquids such as watermelon, jelly, yogurt, soup and custard.
According to Nikki, wet diapers are a great indicator of a child’s hydration and should be odorless and light or pale in color.
Children can become dehydrated more quickly than adults. If a child is not feeling well, parents should monitor how often the child eats, drinks, and urinates to track fluids coming in and going out.
Strong-smelling or dark-colored urine and fresh blood are concerns, as are “urates,” which are rust-colored marks on the diaper after four days of age.
Parents can also do a pinch test to check their little one’s hydration levels.
Gently pinch the skin on the back of the wrist and if it is slow to return, it may be dehydrated.
Babies younger than six months or those with a long-term illness should be taken to a doctor if dehydration is suspected.
There are many signs of severe dehydration, such as lethargy and drowsiness, irritability, extreme thirst, paleness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, and cold to the touch.
“A good point to remember: if your little one is very thirsty, chances are they’re already dehydrated. Ultimately, you, as parents, know your little one best,” the post read.
“And if you’re worried, it’s time to listen to that parental instinct and get your little one seen by a doctor.”