Keeping yourself cool and hydrated during the summer months, especially if you’re pregnant, is crucial. The same goes for your little one. No matter how old they are, kids and babies love to be outside, by the pool, in the sprinklers, even if it is 110-degrees out there. So, it’s your responsibility to keep your kids safe by keeping them cool and hydrated.
Babies and Dehydration
Dehydration, no matter what age you are, is a lack of water in the body due to heat, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. During an Arizona summer, dehydration is quite common due to the extreme heat.
Preemies are at the greatest risk for infant dehydration simply because their little bodies are more susceptible. They might not be eating enough yet, or getting enough fluids yet to be able to stay hydrated. Babies of all ages, however, are at a greater risk for dehydration than parents because their bodies have a limited ability to retain the extra fluids needed to avoid dehydration, and most babies sweat at a much greater rate than adults. A baby’s metabolism is higher than an adults, thus they use more water and yet their kidneys are not quite advanced enough to retain and conserve the water needed to avoid dehydration.
In Arizona, it’s crucial that you help your baby get enough fluids, whether it’s water, breast milk, or foods that contain a lot of water such as watermelon. Be aware of how much your baby is sweating as a barometer of how hot or hydrated he or she might be. Be aware of how hot and uncomfortable you are, because if you’re hot and uncomfortable in the summer heat chances are your baby is too. Be aware of how hot the car can get, and perhaps consider having the air on for a while before getting baby into their car seat.
Babies love to be swaddled and cuddled, but consider lighter blankets, lighter clothes, or diaper only during any swaddling. Always be aware of how much sun your baby is getting, and if you’re outdoors do what you can to stay in the shade.
Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration in babies, just as in adults, can range from very mild to extremely severe, so be aware of the following symptoms and signs:
- Strong-smelling Urine – If you notice this immediately began to offer more fluids into your baby’s diet.
- Fewer Wet Diapers – This is a sign that dehydration is setting in, so be aware of how many wet diapers your baby usually has as compared to that amount during the summer months.
- Irritability – As mentioned, if you’re hot, uncomfortable and irritable, your baby probably is too. But if you’re in a cool space and your little one is still acting irritable and uncomfortable, there could be more going on.
- No Tears and Dry Lips
- Gaunt-Looking Eyes – If your baby’s eyes look gaunt, call your physician.
- Sunken Soft Spot
- Excessive Sleepiness – You know your baby better than anyone, and if your little one is acting lethargic or more tired than normal, call your physician.
An Arizona summer is nothing to take lightly, especially if you’re pregnant or have a new baby in the home. Keep a close eye on their behavior, look for signs of dehydration, and give them plenty of water. If you’re not sure, call your physician.