How to Tell if Your Child is Dehydrated
By Celina D. Cepeda, M.D.
It’s summer! That magical time of the year when school is out, and kids can be more active. It also brings sweltering temperatures, which leads to sweaty, thirsty children that can become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to nausea, dizziness, headache, or even heat stroke.
So, how can you tell if your child is staying hydrated? Ask them what color their pee is! Urine color has been found to be a good marker of how hydrated a person is. Keep reading to find out if your child is staying adequately hydrated. (This, of course, also applies to adults.)
This is an 8-color urine color chart.
Some things to keep in mind:
- When hydrating, water is best, but other fluids count if they don’t include caffeine.
- The amount of fluid that should be consumed differs from person to person depending on weight; ask your child’s pediatrician for an estimate.
- Urine that has no color/transparent means overhydration; cut back on water intake; there is such a thing as water intoxication.
- Some vitamin supplements, like those containing B vitamins, can turn urine bright yellow.
I am from Brownville, Texas, down in the Rio Grande Valley. When I was in high school, I thought about being a pharmacist to follow in my father's footsteps. However, it wasn't until college – after dissecting a cow eye - I decided to pursue a medical degree. My sophomore year of college, I applied for and was accepted to the Early Medical School Selection Program from Boston University while at University of the Incarnate Word. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology, I attended Boston University School of Medicine. I enjoyed most of my medical school clinic rotations, but during my pediatric rotation in medical school, I felt like I connected well with children and they seemed comfortable around me, so this is when I decided being a pediatrician was for me.
Did I ever think I would be a pediatric nephrologist? Nope. In medical school, the kidneys were one of the more complicated organs to learn about so being a physician working with the kidney system was not on my radar ... until my pediatric nephrology rotation during residency. Being exposed not just to electrolyte issues, but also issues like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and high blood pressure made me more interested in the field. What I love about this field is the relationships that are built with patients and their families. Unfortunately, kidney problems can be chronic in nature, so I do see patients on a long-term basis; this allows me to build long-lasting, trusting, compassionate connections. Also, being able to get patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease to kidney transplant is very satisfying and such a joyous moment for myself, my patients and their families.
Before joining Cook Children's, I was in a private practice and at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas for 3 years. I am so happy to join Cook Children's and look forward to taking care of you.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my fur baby – a Chihuahua mix. I also enjoy volunteering at the SPCA of Dallas, working out and lifting weights, traveling, going to comedy shows, and relaxing at home. In addition to English, I speak Spanish.