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< prev - next > Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment (Printable PDF)
10 Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment
Diarrhea and dehydration
Many people die from diarrhea diseases, especially
children. These diseases are often caused when
germs get into drinking water or food. Most
children who die from diarrhea die because they
do not have enough water left in their bodies. This
lack of water is called dehydration.
People of any age can become dehydrated,
but dehydration can happen very quickly
to small children and is most dangerous for
Any child with watery diarrhea is in danger of dehydration.
Signs of dehydration
Sunken eyeballs,
tearless eyes
Thirst and dry mouth
are early signs of
weight loss
Little or no
urine, or dark
yellow urine
Sagging of the “soft
spot” in infants
Loss of stretchiness of the skin
Lift the skin between two
fingers, like this…
If the skin does not fall
right back to normal, the
child is dehydrated.
Note for the health worker
To teach the signs of dehydration, you
can use a “body mapping” activity.
Bring parents together and show them
a picture of a healthy baby. Have them
point or draw arrows to where they
would see signs of dehydration. Discuss
all the signs. Then discuss the ways
they can help their children when these
signs appear — and what they can do
to prevent dehydration and diarrhea in
the first place.