22 Common Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration In Teens

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Got an active teen who loves to stay out and participate in sports? Is your teen suffering from a stomach bug? There are a good number of conditions where your teen could be possibly dehydrated, and you may not even realise it. Dehydration, if left untreated, could prove to be quite dangerous.

Keep reading to know more in general about dehydration, and some common symptoms of dehydration in teens, which will help you detect it easier and take action accordingly.

What Is Dehydration?

Dehydration is nothing but a term used to define a condition wherein the loss of fluids from the body is more than the intake. The body loses water every day through urine, stool, sweat and even through the breath that we exhale. Small amounts of salts are also lost from the body along with this water.

The loss of water from the body is normal, but if it loses too much water, the body is said to become dehydrated(1). Severe dehydration may also lead to death of the individual affected.

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Causes Of Dehydration In Teens:

Teens who practise sports or work out where its sunny and hot, and do not take enough fluids are more likely to be dehydrated. In many cases, a teen may be sick and may be unable to retain fluids, which could contribute to dehydration – vomiting and diarrhea are few examples.

The use of diuretics and laxative medications, which are commonly used among teens in an attempt to lose weight, could also cause dehydration.

Common Signs Of Dehydration In Teens:

There are certain signs of dehydration in teenagers that may go unnoticed- so make sure you remember these.

1. Dryness and stickiness of the mouth
2. Headache
3. Constipation
4. Lightheadedness
5. Dizziness
6. Decrease in urine output
7. Tiredness
8. Increased sleepiness
9. Thirst
10. Dryness of the skin

In certain severe cases of dehydration, the following signs and symptoms are commonly observed.

11. Extreme thirst
12. Very dry mouth, mucous membranes
13. Fever
14. Low blood pressure
15. Extreme dryness of the skin
16. Rapid breathing
17. Unconsciousness or delirium (in serious cases)
18. Rapid heartbeat
19. Sinking of the eyes
20. Very little or no urination at all
21. Urine is mostly darker than normal
22. Extreme irritability and fussiness

It is believed that the best way to detect dehydration is to check the color of the urine(2). Light colored urine is an indication of a hydrated body whereas yellow or dark urine clearly points out to a dehydrated body.

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Treating Dehydration In Teenagers:

The best way to deal with dehydration is to encourage your teen to drink lots of fluids and keep up his intake of water. In certain severe cases, medical attention may be needed. You may want to have your teen examined by a healthcare professional if your teen experiences any of the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea for more than 2 days
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Confusion
  • High fever
  • Noticeable decrease in urine output
  • Vomiting and diarrhea for more than a day
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing difficulty

In certain severe cases of dehydration, your teen may also be given fluids intravenously, particularly if he isn’t able to maintain fluids in his body.

[ Read: How To Manage Teenage Behavior ]

Tips To Prevent Dehydration:

Implementing these simple tips could actually help prevent dehydration in teens:

  • Carrying a few bottles of water while practicing any sports or physical activities to keep up with the heat stress and loss of fluids through sweating.
  • Avoiding exercising outdoors on days that are too hot and sunny.
  • Wearing loose fitting clothes, preferably light colored ones, especially when outdoors during the summer.
  • Taking breaks and relaxing in a cool and shady area every few hours to beat the effects of heat exposure(3).

We hope this article helped you understand a bit more about dehydration in teens. Did you find the prevention tips useful? Let us know in the comments box below.

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