Tips on how to keep your kids hydrated

LOS ANGELES Alyssa McBean is back to being a kid after a nasty bout with dehydration that sent her to the emergency room.

"You're a newbie. You feel like everything is different because it's your own child," said Danelle Galt-McBean.

Her own mother is a nurse, but even she was taken off-guard. So as your kids run around the playground this summer, doctors say watch them closely.

Some of the symptoms you should watch out for are: fever, diarrhea or vomiting. Other things to look for are signs of dehydration, like fewer tears when they cry, dry, cool skin, fatigue, dizziness or sunken eyes. The soft spot on a baby's head may also look sunken in.

"There's a soft spot on the top of the head and in the back of the head," said Dr. Kerri Parks. "It's primarily the anterior fontanelle that you want to keep an eye on."

Irritability and fatigue can be early warning signs of dehydration. So experts say it's important to continuously hydrate your child especially an infant.

"You should give them 4 ounces of water three to four times a day," said Dr. Parks. "That is appropriate up to 2 years of age. After two years, children should drink 6 ounces or more three to four times a day."

Adding fruits, like an apple which is 80 percent water, can quickly boost a child's H2O level. And at the end of the day, giving a child soup or broth, which is mostly water, is also a quality option.

Severely dehydrated kids may need an oral rehydration solution containing salt and sugars, which can be bought at the grocery store or pharmacy. Tips Alyssa and her mom are likely to remember for a long time to come.

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