Dehydration and sun stroke
- Dehydration occurs when the body has lost too much fluid from its cells and blood. Your baby may become dehydrated if he loses a lot of fluid through sweating, diarrhoea or vomiting and doesn’t replace enough of that lost fluid.
- You can diagnose dehydration if your baby becomes floppy, is irritable, has dry skin, and has sunken fontenelle. She will have few wet nappies, and the urine she does pass will be concentrated so it will look dark and smell strong.
- If you suspect that your baby is dehydrated, you need to ensure that she gets lots of extra fluid into her system. If, however, she refuses to drink, she may need to receive extra fluids intravenously in hospital.
- Consult with your GP if you are concerned that your baby may be dehydrated.
Heat stroke can be potentially very serious, causing organ failure that can be fatal. Heat stroke occurs when too much fluid is lost from the body and as a result your temperature begins to rise.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- a body temperature that rises
- a decreased amount of urine passed that is dark in colour and has a strong smell
- being excessively thirsty – though as time goes by, this may actually reverse so that the heat stroke sufferer may actually drink less.
- muscle cramps
- dry mouth and eyes
- becoming floppy and sleepy
- general confusion
How can I help my baby with heat stroke?
- There is a big difference between being dehydrated and heat stroke, and by the time your baby displays symptoms of heat stroke, she will need urgent medical attention.
- Keep her covered with cool damp cloths while you are waiting to get medical attention.
- Keep offering your baby drinks.
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Last revised: Thursday, 19 June 2008
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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