- Drinking less than normal amounts of fluid
Causes For Drinking Less Fluid Than Normal
- Sore Throat. A sore throat is the most common cause. The pain is made worse by swallowing. Most sore throats are caused by a virus. Strep bacteria cause 20% of sore throats with fever.
- Mouth Ulcers. Mouth ulcers are another common cause of a painful mouth. The pain is made worse by swallowing. Most mouth ulcers are caused by a virus (such as Coxsackie virus).
- Nausea. Nausea means a sick stomach feeling and loss of appetite. Also called an upset stomach, but without vomiting. Usually from a viral infection of the stomach or liver.
- Blocked Nose. A common cause in bottle or breastfed infant. Reason: if nose is clogged, the baby can't breathe while sucking.
- Trouble Breathing (Serious). Shortness of breath from any lung disease can reduce fluid intake. Examples are pneumonia, wheezing or severe croup. Reason: the baby quickly gets tired from sucking and breathing at the same time.
- Foreign Object in the Esophagus (Serious). The esophagus is the tube from the mouth to the stomach. A swallowed foreign object can become stuck here. Examples are coins or small toy parts. The main symptoms are gagging, refusal of fluids or drooling. The peak age is 1 to 3 years.
- Abscess of Tonsil (Serious). A bacterial infection of the tonsil can spread to the surrounding tissues. The main symptoms are severe trouble swallowing, fever and one-sided throat pain. It's also hard to fully open the mouth. The peak age is teens.
Dehydration: How to Tell
The main risk of not drinking enough fluids is dehydration. This means the body has lost too much water. It is a reason to see a doctor right away. Your child may have dehydration if not drinking much fluid and:
- The urine is dark yellow and has not passed any in more than 8 hours.
- Inside of the mouth and tongue are dry.
- There are no tears if your child cries.
- Slow blood refill test: longer than 2 seconds. First, press on the thumbnail and make it pale. Then let go. Count the seconds it takes for the nail to turn pink again. Ask your doctor to teach you how to do this test.
- A child with severe dehydration becomes too weak to stand. They can also be very dizzy when trying to stand.