A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN on December 21, 2008
Dehydration - Minneapolis,MN
Hi moms. My 22 month old son has had a pretty bad cough for the past 2 weeks. We just got him on antibiotics. I'm worried about dehydration, though, as he has not been drinking or eating as much and seems to have many dry diapers. His naptime diaper was very wet, but the urine was dark and pretty smelly. Between naptime and bedtime he only peed a little bit in his diaper. He drank about 5-6 ounces of juice/water at supper but did not drink after that. He has been pretty lethargic for the past couple of days as well. He has not been having fevers, and although his poop has been a bit runny he does not have diarrhea. Should I be really concerned, or just keep an eye on it? If he drank that amount of liquid at supper, shouldn't he be okay?
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for the responses I've gotten so far. He woke up with a very wet diaper, and has had another wet one since. While that has alleviated some fears, he's still acting funny and just wants to snuggle. Any mom of a toddler knows that is strange! :) I have given him fluids by offering him a bunch of different things - I even resorted to sugary pink lemonade, which he never gets. He also took some more by the syringe that I've been using to give him his amoxicillin. I have also read that amoxicillin can cause stinky pee. Keep the responses coming and let me know if you think I should still be concerned!
p.s. He is also playing happily, but every 1/2 hour or so he gets really snuggly and just wants to suck his thumb and sit with me...
M.K. answers from Minneapolis on December 22, 2008
When my daughter was that age she had a stomach bug and the only way to get fluids into her was to let you use a baby bottle. She hadn't used a bottle in almost a year, but something about it was much easier than trying to have her drink from a regular cup, straw or sippy cup when she wasn't feeling well. She just lay on the couch watching TV and in half an hour had drunk more than she had in the previous 24 hours. I think she found it comforting and soothing to use the bottle when she wasn't feeling well.
J.R. answers from Cedar Rapids on December 21, 2008
My take on dehydration is to go with your gut. You are the one who will notice if somethign is off or different about your son. Go with your instints and if you are scared about it, get your little one checked out by a doctor. You can read about it all you want, (such as on webmd.com), but a doctor will be able to tell for sure. Although, if your son isn't throwing up or having diareah then at least what fluids he takes in are staying. Maybe you just need to push more fluids.. or Pedialite...
I didn't know how dehydrated my daughter was even after calling and talking to a nurse twice. She told symptoms to look for and told me to wait cuz my descriptions didnt sound that bad.. But when I finally broke down and didnt want to wait anymore because she was so lethargic, I had to take my little one to the ER and her little veins kept collapsing and they had to put the iv fluids into a vein in her head! It was horrible, so i'm a bit paranoid now at even the mention of the word dehydration. It's serious stuff be careful.
K.C. answers from Davenport on December 22, 2008
It can take a couple of weeks or so for a child to fully recover from dehydration after illness. I found this out the hard way with my daughter. She has asthma and had had a roto virus (where things come out both ends) and never fully recovered from the dehydration. Two weeks later, her asthma kicked in (because of the lingering effects of the illness and dehydration) and she ended up in the hospital in an oxygen tent for 5 days. (she was only 13 1/2 months old at the time....scared me to death!)
I'd been giving her plenty of liquids during and after her illness but it wasn't the enough of the right things. The anesthesiologist (sp?) couldn't start on IV on her as her veins were shrunken due to the dehydration. I spent several hours pouring water down her little throat every few minutes to try to rehydrate her and thankfully it worked. I wouldn't recommend doing this unless under doctors supervision (as I was) because too much water can be just as dangerous as not enough.
Her asthma kicked in and took longer to overcome partly because the dehydration had contributed to her low oxygen count in her blood and brought her blood pressure to a dangerously low level. I thought I was doing everything right, giving her water and juice and whatnot....found out that the only thing that can really help a child overcome dehydration is pedialyte or gatoraid, which I now give to my kids when they are sick to help prevent dehydration. Bananas are also good for restoring much need potasium levels, athletes notoriously eat bananas after a race to help prevent dehydration and it works wonders. (ask any cyclist or runner and they will tell you, if they don't have a banana to eat after a long ride/run or a race, they will eat an apple though it isn't quite as effective as a banana).
So try giving him a banana (careful not to give him too much in one day...no more than one, maybe two, or it will bind his little self up and cause pooper problems...) and give him some pedialyte or gator aid or other sports drinks with electrolytes in them. I personally prefer G2 because it's the only one I've found that tastes good but doesn't taste like I'm drinking sugar water though my kids say it tastes watered down lol
Anyway, keep a close eye on his dehydration, it does take a little bit for little ones to recover from it, which means constant vigilance on our part...but with the right tools (bananas and gatorade, etc) we can get them through it just fine. Good luck to ya hun!
T.L. answers from Minneapolis on December 21, 2008
I would say he is showning signs of dehydration. If he is letargic with no fever he his more than likely dehydrated. I would at least call the on call dr and ask if he should be seen or what you can do to help him.
C.H. answers from Green Bay on December 22, 2008
I would be a little concerned with the symptoms of lethargy and not peeing. Make sure that he's getting plenty of fluids whether you have to give him popsicles, gatorade/pediatlyte. Whatever he'll drink especially since antibiotics should be taken with water. If he is not responsive to this in the next few days or progressively worsens you may need to bring him to the doctor.
A few other signs of dehydration are sunken eye sockets, slower than 3 seconds capilarry refill (pinch fingertip and see how long it takes for the color to turn back to pink), check skin turgor (pull skin on the belly for a couple seconds and see how long it takes for it to return to normal. If it stays tented there is dehydration) weight loss, check and see if his mouth is moist, does he make tears...that kinda stuff.
So just keep an eye on him, once the antibiotics kick in and he drinks some fluids he'll probably turn back into the little boy you know! Good luck.
C.G. answers from Davenport on December 21, 2008
It sounds like he is not drinking enough...the dark smelly urine & lethargic is a sign of dehydration. I would put him on pedilyte ASAP. The fact that he is lethargic is a concern, if it is really bad, maybe take him to the ER. It doesn't take very much for a child to get dehydrated.
T.V. answers from Lincoln on December 24, 2008
if his urine is dark and smelly I would have him checked out. He might have a Urinary Infection. Also you could try giving him jello and popsicles to help hydrate him.