Q: Should I worry that my child will become dehydrated when she throws up or has diarrhea?
A: A baby can become dehydrated very quickly. But if the vomiting and diarrhea are both really bad, dehydration can occur rapidly in a child of any age. Signs include crankiness, not eating, not urinating as often as usual, dry mouth and thirst.
You can prevent dehydration by trying to get your child to drink as much as possible. Older kids can have fruit juice, regular nondiet pop, popsicles, broth or water. Give smaller children liquids by a dropper, spoon or medicine cup.
Oral rehydration solutions (ORS), special drinks that contain the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium and other elements to help replace lost fluids, can be purchased at drugstores.
For more information on this and other health topics, visit the College of Family Physicians of Canada's (CFPC's) Web site www.cfpc.ca or talk to your family doctor.
If you have questions on this or other health topics you'd like to see addressed in future articles, please e-mail healthtopics@CFPC.ca.