Infant and Baby Dehydration: Causes, Symptoms, and Management
As the winter months approach, we wanted to talk a bit about a health issue that happens more frequently this time of year: infant and baby dehydration. During the cold and flu season, your baby has a greater likelihood of catching a cold, influenza, or a stomach virus. Unfortunately, many cold and flu viruses cause symptoms – like diarrhea and vomiting – that can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration can be life-threatening in both children and adults, though infants are at a higher risk of severe problems. That’s why it’s important for all parents to know how to recognize the signs of baby dehydration and to develop a protocol to tackle dehydration when it occurs.
Here, we’ll show you the warning signs and most likely causes of baby dehydration. Plus, you’ll learn about oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS that are medically formulated to manage mild to moderate dehydration. DripDrop ORS is powerful enough to use in extreme circumstances but safe enough for everyday use. It can be used for babies, but for infants under one year old, consult your pediatrician first.
Baby dehydration requires fast action. So once you recognize the symptoms, start giving your child small sips of DripDrop ORS immediately. By using DripDrop ORS you can help your baby tackle dehydration and avoid scary and expensive visits to the emergency room.
Common Causes of Infant and Baby Dehydration
Dehydration is caused when the body loses water and nutrients faster than they can be replaced. Newborns have much smaller reserves of water in the body. Therefore, infants and young children — especially when battling illnesses like the cold and flu that rapidly deplete fluids — can become dehydrated more quickly than adults.
Diarrhea is the most common cause of dehydration in young children and babies. That’s because, during an episode of diarrhea, a baby quickly loses water and electrolytes. The risk of dehydration is especially high when diarrhea persists for more than a couple of days.
When diarrhea is coupled with other symptoms that deplete body water, dehydration can set in faster. For instance, when combined with vomiting — another common symptom of colds and flu — the risk for dehydration is even more serious. Other symptoms that can lead to increased body fluid loss include fevers, overheating, and excessive sweating. Even sore throats, which discourage babies from drinking voluntarily, can increase the risk of dehydration.
Compounding the problem, the winter months also present an increased risk of dehydration due to temperature changes. While many of us associate dehydration with hot weather, cold weather also poses a risk. That's because winter clothing is bulky and heavy, requiring more exertion and sweating as your child moves. Plus, our thirst response becomes 40% less effective in wintertime. That means your baby may not drink enough fluids, leading to the onset of dehydration.
In addition, your baby may be at higher risk of dehydration if you have certain medical conditions that prevent you from producing breast milk and your baby gets most of their nutrients from breast milk. For example, if you’re sick and dehydrated or have a kidney disorder that affects your hydration levels, you may not be able to produce enough breast milk. Your breast milk can also contain low amounts of nutrients, including potassium and chloride, which may help your child stay hydrated. However, for best results, also use DripDrop ORS with water.
How To Recognize Baby Dehydration Symptoms
How can you tell if your baby is dehydrated? Mild to moderate dehydration, which can often be treated at home, causes a wide range of symptoms. The first step in managing baby dehydration is to identify the signs of dehydration in kids and infants.
Here are the most common symptoms of baby dehydration:
- Fewer wet diapers than normal or no wet diapers in three hours or more
- Darker, more concentrated urine
- Lethargy, sleepiness, and less activity
- Abnormal breathing
- Parched mouth and/or lips (dry or cracked lips, difficulty swallowing or speaking)
- No tears when crying
If your baby suffers from a prolonged illness — such as gastroenteritis — with several symptoms that cause dehydration, severe dehydration may occur. Severe dehydration requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of severe baby dehydration include:
- Sunken eyes
- Sunken soft spot (called fontanelles or fontanels which are located on your baby’s head)
- Lethargy, inactivity, and not responding to touch or your voice
- Rapid heartbeat
- No tears when crying
- No urine output (12 or more hours since their last wet diaper)
- Dry mouth, no saliva, and chapped lips
- Especially pale skin that doesn’t snap back into place when pinched
Once you recognize these symptoms of dehydration in your baby, it’s important to take swift action. If your baby breastfeeds, you should continue to breastfeed while also supplementing the baby's hydration with other hydration tools and extra fluids.
For mild to moderate dehydration, an oral rehydration drink can help replenish vital nutrients and water. In fact, oral rehydration drinks like DripDrop ORS are recommended as a first-line of treatment for child and baby dehydration by a variety of groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.
DripDrop ORS is packed with essential electrolytes, according to international health community standards, and it is doctor-formulated to replenish electrolyte and fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting. The precise ratio of electrolytes in DripDrop ORS also allows the body to absorb water faster, leading to swifter rehydration. Compared to pediatric alternatives, DripDrop ORS delivers 25% more electrolytes to help rehydrate faster.
While focusing on providing your baby with plenty of fluids and electrolytes, it’s also a good idea to schedule a follow-up with your doctor to ensure your child is well. A physician can provide vital health information, check to see that your baby is recovering well, and can offer tips for increasing fluid intake to prevent future dehydration episodes.
Oral Rehydration for Remedying Mild to Moderate Dehydration
When your baby is in a state of dehydration, water alone is not enough. That’s because your baby’s body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose — which aren’t found in plain drinking water — to help absorption.
With the precisely balanced ratio of electrolytes in DripDrop ORS, you can help your baby replenish lost fluids and vital electrolytes to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your child’s immune and overall health.
Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to manage mild to moderate baby dehydration outside of a hospital setting. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help babies suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of hot and cold flavors.
Tackle Baby Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
Not only is DripDrop ORS medically relevant for dehydration — it tastes so great
that children and infants will love it. DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. When he saw that young children and babies were spitting out life-saving electrolyte solutions for dehydration, he knew he had to act.
That’s why he created our patented formula that provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste. It gives children a medically viable ORS that also tastes great, so you can manage mild to moderate dehydration at home where your baby’s most comfortable.
For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.
Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, if you're ready to make a purchase, and you're a first-time buyer, enjoy 15% off your order with this code: FIRST15.