May 5, 2015
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve dealt with more vomiting and diarrhea the past 2-3 weeks than I would like to describe… or smell. While my job isn’t always glamorous, I really do love it. Truly, every parent knows there are few things sadder than watching your child experience vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration. My little patients have been dealing with a boat-load of gastroenteritis, otherwise known as the notorious stomach flu. In my recent discussions with an adorable little 5 year old, she described the inevitable dilemma of going through both of those awful things at, you guessed it, the exact same time. Bless her heart, I think the poor child is still traumatized.
When that nasty stomach flu hits, bad food gets the best of your child, or the plain-ole’ no warning vomiting and/or diarrhea starts up, the concern I hear from parents most frequently is how do I know if my child is getting dehydrated? This concern is rightfully so, because dehydration should be on the forefront of a parent’s mind when it comes your child losing fluids, whether it’s up one end or out the other. For lack of better description.
So how can you know if your child is getting dehydrated?
BONUS: I made an easy-to-read chart that describes the signs of mild, moderate, or severe dehydration in children that I think all parents should have. Download it for free right here!
And here’s one more tidbit of advice… please, please make your child drink water! Period. Whether they want to or not. Even if drinking water causes vomiting, still make them drink small sips of water frequently. The only way to keep a child from dehydration is filling them up with fluids.
If you ever have concerns about whether your child is dehydrated or not, it is always best to call your pediatric health provider and ask. Go with your mommy instincts and never be afraid to ask questions.
So keep up the good work promoting hydration! If this post describes your situation right now, I wish you well with your multiple loads of laundry, constant containment of infectious body fluids, and I hope your little one feels better soon!