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09 Dec 2008 - Dehydration

Staying Hydrated/Keeping the Blood Sugar Up:

During illness, it is extremely important to stay hydrated.  Insulin will not absorb well into the bloodstream if you are dehydrated.  When your child is vomitting and can not tolerate liquids, give him or her one teaspoon of water every fifteen minutes to avoid dehydration. 

Do not try to force food on a child who is vomitting. There are other ways to replace the carbs the need, such as drinking their carbs. Broths, milkshakes, Gatorade and flat Gingerale are good choices if your child can tolerate it.

Lollipops are also great for raising blood sugar in a child who won't or can't eat. You can also hold the stick and place the lollipop between their cheek and gums while they sleep. Massaging the throat gently will prompt them to swallow.  Here are a few other quick to dissolve and fast acting sugars that may help:  maple syrup, cake icing, honey, chocolate syrup, soda and popsicles.

If blood sugars are not staying up and the vomitting continues, you may need Glucagon.  Please see Diabetes Emergencies for more information.

Helpful Hints:  Record your child's temperature along with blood sugar readings, it may help you see a pattern. Use a 1-liter water bottle to keep track of fluid intake.

Some Signs of dehydration: Dry mouth, fatigue, chills, dark colored urine, nausea, labored breathing, increased heart rate.
A child with high blood sugars can become dehydrated very quickly if they are not taking any fluids at all.  A dehydrated child needs to be taken to the emergency room for IV fluids. Ketones can also cause dehydration, so even if the blood sugars are fine, if ketones are present it is very important to remain hydrated.


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