Preventing Dehydration in Infants

August 11, 2014

As the weather is warmer, many families are spending more time outdoors and being more active. With heat and activity, it is important that everyone stays well hydrated, including infants that may not be able to communicate their thirst.

Here are some suggestions on how to prevent dehydration in infants:

  • Monitor how much an infant is drinking, especially if they are sick or are exposed to warm temperatures
  • Babies older than 6 months can be given water to drink safely

If you are the caregiver, check with the parents to see when they would like to start introducing water to their child, especially if they are breastfeeding.

Keep an eye out for these early signs of dehydration in an infant:

  • 5-6 hours without a wet diaper
  • Urine has a strong smell, or may be darker than usual
  • More sleepy than usual
  • Cries but produces no tears
  • Sunken eyes or fontanels -  very dehydrated  ​ at this point

If you notice any of these signs, call the parents right away. If you are unable to reach them, you may want to contact the family doctor. There are different ways for an infant to overcome dehydration, depending on their age.

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