Drinking Fluids - Decreased

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • OFFER LOTS OF FLUIDS: * Give your child lots of their favorite liquid. * Use fluids like chocolate milk, fruit drinks, water or even soft drinks. The type doesn't matter. The type only matters if your child has diarrhea or starts throwing up.
  • SOLID FOODS: * Don't worry about solid food intake. * It's normal not to feel hungry or want to eat when sick. * Preventing dehydration is the only thing that is important.
  • FOR A SORE MOUTH:   * If the mouth is sore, give cold drinks. * Do not use citrus juices. * For babies, offer fluids in a cup, spoon or syringe rather than a bottle. Reason: The nipple may increase pain.   * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
  • NASAL WASHES TO OPEN A BLOCKED NOSE: * Use saline nose drops or spray to loosen up the dried mucus. If you don't have saline, you can use warm tap water. * STEP 1: Put 3 drops in each nostril. (If age under 1 year old, use 1 drop. Also, do 1 side at a time.) * STEP 2: Blow (or suction) each nostril out while closing off the other nostril. Then, do the other side. * STEP 3: Repeat nose drops and blowing (or suctioning) until the discharge is clear. * How often: Do nasal washes when your child can't breathe through the nose. Limit: No more than 4 times per day. * Saline nose drops or spray can be bought in any drugstore. No prescription is needed. * Saline nose drops can also be made at home. Use 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) of table salt. Stir the salt into 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 ml) of warm water. * Reason for nose drops: Suction or blowing alone can't remove dried or sticky mucus. Also, babies can't nurse or drink from a bottle unless the nose is open. * Other option: use a warm shower to loosen mucus. Breathe in the moist air, then blow each nostril. * For young children, can also use a wet cotton swab to remove sticky mucus.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Trouble swallowing gets worse * Signs of dehydration occur * Poor drinking lasts more than 3 days * Your child becomes worse
  • FOR SHORTNESS OF BREATH: * For trouble breathing, feed more often. Feed every ½ hour. * Offer smaller amounts per feeding. * Reason: This allows your baby to rest in between feedings.  
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Eating less solids during an illness is normal. * Drinking less fluids is not. * So far, your child does not have any signs of dehydration. * Here are some tips to help increase fluid intake.
  • LIQUID ANTACID FOR MOUTH SORES: * For mouth pain, use a liquid antacid such as Mylanta or the store brand. Give 4 times per day as needed. After meals often is a good time. Age: For children over 1 year old. * For children over age 6, can use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) as a mouth wash. Keep it on the ulcers as long as possible. Then can spit it out or swallow it. * For younger children age 1 to 6, put a few drops in the mouth. Can also put it on with a cotton swab. * Caution: Do not use regular mouth washes, because they sting.


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