The Importance of Water to You - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/5/06

The Importance of Water to You

Water is essential not only our crops, but for ourselves.

We become dehydrated when we don't have enough water or fluids to keep our bodies functioning. It ranges from just being thirsty to a life threatening problem. The volume of blood decreases and enough oxygen cannot be supplied to all the organs. Exercising or playing other sports in hot weather can tax the body's fluid reserves. We have to drink enough to replace the fluid lost through sweating. But the most common way in which people become dehydrated is through an illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

Children are more susceptible to dehydration because of their small body size. They can become seriously dehydrated within twelve hours if the fluid lost is not replaced. If a child is vomiting, he or she should be given small sips of liquid every fifteen minutes or so. Small amounts are usually well tolerated. The best thing to use is an electrolyte replacement liquid such as Pedialyte or oral rehydration powders that can be bought at a drug store. Sugary liquids such as sodas are no longer recommended.

You can make your own replacement liquid simply by combining several things we all have on our pantry shelves. In one quart of water dissolve: half a teaspoon of salt half a teaspoon of baking soda (arm and hammer) three tablespoons of sugar when the child can tolerate food or just has diarrhea, they can return to a normal diet.

Children with the ‘stomach flu' do best on their regular food. Infants should continue nursing or taking formula. High sugar foods such as sodas and fruit drinks are no longer recommended. Try to avoid greasy food but lean meat, fruits and vegetables, yogurt, rice and potatoes are usually well tolerated.

The symptoms of serious dehydration include dry mouth, lack of tears and/or urine, and confusion or drowsiness. If your child exhibits these symptoms, it is time to call the doctor. He may need intravenous fluids to help him recover.

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