When to go to Urgent Care for Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration can look like other conditions, so it’s important to pay attention to them. As a general rule, if you’re very thirsty and/or urinating more frequently than usual, get yourself checked out. Since kids are more prone to dehydration, it’s even more important that they remain well-hydrated during play and sports activities. In addition, certain medications can cause you to become dehydrated; when your kidneys aren’t working properly (kidney disease), you can also experience dehydration by not drinking enough water.
Dehydration occurs when we lose too much water and/or electrolytes from our body. While dehydration is more common in children, adults can also experience it when traveling in hot climates or during strenuous activity. Some signs of dehydration include: thirst, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth and throat and lightheadedness. Signs of severe dehydration are extreme fatigue and dizziness or fainting.
The body normally loses between one and two quarts of water a day via urination, sweating, breathing and other processes. Dehydration means your body is not able to replace lost fluids fast enough to keep fluid levels up. If you are at risk of dehydration, you need an easy-to-remember standard for how much water you should be drinking in a day—about eight cups for women (20 ounces) and 12 cups a day for men (32 ounces). Check that often by weighing yourself without clothes early in the morning. If you lose more than 2% of your weight from water alone (1 pound = 16 ounces), that’s cause for concern and likely means it’s time to hydrate.
Dehydration is a medical emergency and can happen quite quickly in children. In fact, doctors say dehydration is one of the most common reasons kids end up in urgent care. Typically, parents are more likely to take their child to urgent care if they’re not sure if it’s an emergency or if there aren’t any pediatricians available that night. These factors can be used as guideposts when determining whether you should seek treatment at urgent care: Is your child severely dehydrated? If yes, then go immediately. If no, then ask yourself: Are you comfortable giving fluids by mouth?