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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.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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