Mild dehydration is nothing to take lightly. Though proper treatment can reverse it with no ill effects, letting it go without proper care can lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, the best method of treatment for mild dehydration is fairly simple to apply. The patient just has to drink more fluids.
Many people immediately think of sport drinks when the time comes to treat mild dehydration while others are against consuming them altogether, considering them unhealthy. However, sports drinks do have their place in re-hydration. For example, if a person has become mildly dehydrated while exercising, drinking sports drinks may be fine. Those that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates may be best. These drinks may also be good for those who simply forget to drink enough throughout the day.
While sports drinks may help to treat mild dehydration, they aren't really necessary. Regular water is actually just fine for treating this condition. This is even true for those with mild, exercise-related dehydration. Sports drinks can help, but they are not required. Cool water is enough to re-hydrate the body in most cases.
Sometimes, regular water just won’t do for mild dehydration. For example, if a child is ill with vomiting or diarrhea, plain water may not be the best option, as it cannot replace the essential electrolytes that may be lost when a child is ill. Sports drinks won’t do the trick either. Basically, these beverages can help to replace electrolytes lost through sweating but not those lost through vomiting and repeated trips to the bathroom. Besides that, the sugar in these drinks, as well as in fruit juices, sodas, and coffee, can cause things like diarrhea to worsen; it’s best to use an oral re-hydration solution in these cases.
It's best to avoid giving too many fluids if a person is or has been vomiting. If the sick person tries to drink too much, too fast, her body may react with even more vomiting. Instead, it’s wise to give small amounts at frequent intervals.
Since a mild case of dehydration can develop into a serious case, it’s best to keep an eye out for symptoms of a worsening condition. Some symptoms that may indicate a more serious case include an extremely dry mouth, drier-than-normal skin, scanty urine output, little-to-no sweating, fever, delirium, confusion, sunken eyes, and rapid heartbeat. When dehydration occurs in babies, parents may note that the soft spot on the top of the baby’s head becomes sunken. Infants and small children may become sleepy and irritable while adults may display signs of confusion. When these symptoms are present, it’s best to seek emergency medical care immediately.