Doctors stress protection of kids, elderly from dehydration

Doctors stress protection of kids, elderly from dehydration

Lactating mothers, pregnant women must drink enough water, they say

Doctors stress protection of kids, elderly from dehydration

The severe heat has taken a toll on Bengalureans, affecting the paediatric and geriatric populations the worst. With temperatures soaring high, doctors warn patients of dehydration and heat stroke.

Even as there is not much to worry about children younger than five months who are breastfed, parents with children above that age ought to ensure that children are hydrated well, they say.

Dr R Nisarga, chairperson, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (Kims), told Deccan Herald that even as no extreme effects are noticed in children or neonates in Bengaluru, it is advised that precautions be taken.

“It must be ensured that the body temperature does not cross 41 degrees as the normal functioning of the body starts to get affected after that. There will be a tendency to develop strokes and cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

For the first 10 kg of body weight, Nisarga said it was recommended that 100 ml of water be consumed for every 1 kg.

Breastfeeding children below six months, he said, protects them from dehydration.
“The World Health Organisation states that no matter how hot it is, a neonate on breastmilk will not get dehydrated. Unfortunately, we have a belief that women should be given less water post-delivery. If enough water is not consumed, how can we expect the mother to lactate? Even pregnant women must ensure that they drink enough water,” he said.

Bacterial infections
Dr Pramod V Satya, consultant, internal medicine, Vikram Hospital, said high temperature and water scarcity would lead to several water-borne diseases and bacterial infections.
Among the elderly, he said extreme temperatures could lead to heat hyperthermia, low BP and stroke, Dr Satya said.

“They usually have severe thirst. Those with diabetes have an increased threshold of thirst. They also get dehydrated quickly or suffer from diarrhoea or vomiting,” he said. Their daily medication causes dehydration too.

“The BP medication induces sweating and urination. There is not just loss of water, but also sodium. Those with high BP are asked to minimise the intake of salt and hence, sodium gets low. The elderly also could appear confused due to dehydration. It is important to give them quick oral rehydration even on minimal signs of dehydration,” Satya said.

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