Dehydration affects most of us at one point or another. After all, who hasn’t spent an afternoon in the sun or performing strenuous activity, only to realize once you’re done that your mouth is dry and your head hurts from a failure to drink enough water? As we enter the month of May, you may be spending more and more time outdoors, which can easily lead to dehydration. Here are a few signs to watch for and how to safely treat dehydration.
Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms include:
• Feeling thirsty
• Dry skin
• Muscle cramps
• Decreased or dark urine
• Dry mouth
Severe dehydration symptoms include:
• Rapid breathing
• Rapid heartbeat
• Confusion, fainting, or unconsciousness
Children and the elderly can be particularly susceptible to dehydration because they often have more difficulty expressing their symptoms. Look for these signs in your child, parent, or other loved one:
• Dry lips
• Decreased tear production
• Sunken eyes
• Lethargy, or a state of weariness and diminished energy
• For babies and toddlers, no wet diapers for three hours
When it comes to treating dehydration, you should first understand that severe dehydration symptoms warrant a trip to the nearest emergency room. If your symptoms are less severe, children and adults can safely treat dehydration at home by taking small sips of water throughout the day. Adults can try sucking on ice cubes or drinking a sports drink to help safely replenish fluids.
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