Monday, May 30, 2011

A Hidden Summer Danger

With summer quickly approaching, I wanted to take a few minutes to warn you about a common & dangerous health hazard that could affect your little ones this summer. Dehydration. Most of you, like me, probably think that when your child is thirsty, you give them a drink to prevent them from becoming dehydration, right? WRONG. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated! I learned that the hard way this past weekend.

I had taken my kids swimming on Saturday morning for a few hours. It was around 90-degrees & sunny (though it can even happen in the shade). We had forgotten our water bottles back at the house, but I figured they'd be okay for 2 or 3 hours until we got back home. My husband ended up getting off of work & showing up at the pool & reminded me that we had a few errands to run. So the kids and I ran back to the house to get ready to go. I have no idea if Mahri got herself anything to drink when we returned. She & Christian are both old enough to get their own drinks, so I figured that if they were thirty, they'd grab some water while I busied myself getting the baby ready.

Once we started driving, both Mahri & I started to feel sick. Similar to being car sick: headache & nausea. Since we were driving down some winding back country roads, I just chalked it up to exactly that: we were car sick.

Now during this time, I know that my kids had drinks, but since I had no clue that Mahri & I were both suffering from mild dehydration, I wasn't making sure that Mahri drank any certain amount. Basically, my mindset was still "if she's thirsty, she'll drink".

The next morning, I was feeling much better. Mahri had a glass of juice with her breakfast and appeared to be doing better. But an hour or so later, she began complaining that her headache had returned. Then her belly hurt again. But this time we weren't in the car. I told her to get a couple of Tums for her belly & that she'd feel better. Wrong again. Soon her muscles started aching along with her headache and nausea.

Because we had gotten so "car sick" the night before, we had not finished our errand-running and some of the errands were important and time sensitive, so we asked Mahri if she'd be okay to go. She said that she'd be fine, so we all headed out again. The kids took a water bottle to share in the car. About an hour into the trip, Mahri really took a turn for the worse. Her body was just aching all over, especially her legs, her head was hurting even more and her nausea was almost unbearable. In fact, she had to run into the bathroom at one of our stops....and the poor thing got stung by a bee in there! My poor baby! Then she started getting head rushes.

I started thinking that maybe she had the flu.

When we got home, I put her in bed. She started complaining that she was so cold. It was 90 degrees out. This only reaffirmed my belief that she had the flu. She fell asleep in bed & I sat in the living room outside of her bedroom door and worried about her.

My mom ended up calling me, just to chitchat. We talked a few minutes but then I told her that I wanted to get off the phone because Mahri had the flu and I wanted to be ready in case she needed me. My mom immediately got concerned. What were her symptoms? How long has she been feeling that way? Had she been spent a lot of time in the sun? She suggested that maybe it was dehydration. I brushed it off. No, Mahri has the flu, easy peasy. But m mom was adamant. She told me to have Antonio pick her up some Pedialyte right away. She was so insistent that I began to think that she could be right. I got off the phone & relayed the message to him. While he ran to the store, I figured, why not Google it? Wouldn't you know it, every symptom that Mahri had was a symptom of dehydration!

Once Mahri started drinking the Pedialyte, within a few minutes she began feeling better! I gave her a few glasses of it to drink (this was all last night) before letting her go back to sleep.

This morning she is doing much better. She had a slight headache but I had her drink another glass if Pedialyte and it went away. Now we will be focusing on making sure she drinks plenty, not only to get her re-hydrated but to also keep her from ever getting dehydrated again. And the same with the boys.

Make sure your little ones (and even your not-so-little ones!) are drinking plenty of water & staying hydrated this summer. Our dehydration happened in just a few hours but left untended, it progressed quickly.

For the signs and symptoms of dehydration, visit this website: http://www.symptomsofdehydration.com/

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