Individuals of all ages can develop dehydration due to excess loss of fluids but newborns face a higher risk for developing the condition. Always bear in mind that dehydration is a result of fluid loss through vomiting, sweat or diarrhea that is more than the fluid taken in by the body.
Babies usually develop dehydration as a result of an infection that leads to high fever or severe diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, babies who are often sick have no interest in drinking or eating which can further contribute to dehydration. In most cases of dehydration, they are not serious but in severe cases, it can be life-threatening and babies might require the administration of intravenous fluids to rehydrate the body. It is best that you are prepared to handle this condition by simply enrolling in a first aid class today.
An indicative sign of dehydration among newborns is a dry diaper. If the baby could not produce a soiled diaper for 6-8 hours, the child is dehydrated. Additionally, a baby who only produces a minimal amount of urine that is darker in color than normal or has a strong odor might be dehydrated. If the child was not able to produce a wet diaper for more than eight hours, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Absence of tears
A newborn who is dehydrated will cry without any tears. The child will cry more than usual since the dehydration will make him/her irritable and cranky. As the condition worsens, tears are no longer produced since the body does not have enough fluids left.
Diminished level of activity
Babies who are dehydrated appear less active than usual or can become lethargic. In case the baby is extremely sleepy or difficult to awaken, it can indicate severe dehydration and a doctor should be consulted.
Sunken soft spot
In case the soft spot of the child has not closed yet, it can provide a hint if he/she is dehydrated. Once a baby is dehydrated, this soft spot can appear sunken. The eyes can also appear sunken. If this is observed, a doctor should be consulted right away since this indicates severe dehydration that requires medical care.
Dry and cool skin
Once the body of the newborn is dehydrated, the skin will feel dry and cool or cold to the touch. The lips can become dry or cracked. The hands or feet that are cold to the touch with splotchy coloring can indicate severe dehydration. You can check the child by pinching his/her skin between the thumb and index finger. In case the skin stays up in the pinched position after it was released, it simply indicates that he/she is dehydrated.
If any of these indications are present, do not hesitate to bring the child to a doctor or healthcare facility for prompt treatment.