Summer is right around the corner and with that comes hot, sticky and humid weather. We have already had some very hot days this year. Some of us can handle the hot weather better than others. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk.

Dehydration occurs when there isn’t enough water to replace what’s lost throughout the day, losing more fluid than you are taking in. Your system literally dries out. Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don’t drink enough because you’re sick, busy, exercising or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you’re traveling, hiking or camping.

Common symptoms of dehydration can include:
 Dry, sticky mouth
 Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
 Thirst
 Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
 Few or no tears when crying
 Dry skin
 Headache
 Dizziness or lightheadedness

Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
 Extreme thirst
 Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
 Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
 Lack of sweating
 Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
 Sunken eyes
 Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
 In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head

If you’re a healthy adult, you can usually treat mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, such as water or a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, others). Foods can be a good source of liquids. Watermelon, grapes, pineapple, oranges, tangerines, jello, popsicles can all help you get fluids. Please seek immediate medical care if you develop severe signs.

Be well and enjoy the upcoming summer.