Dehydration is a serious concern after a natural disaster due to lack of clean water or diarrhea type illnesses from poor sanitation or forced changes in diet. A way to combat that is to replace the electrolytes to re-balance the system. Heck, who needs a natural disaster for dehydration problems, your average stomach flu can wreak enough havoc.
Here are the symptoms of mild dehydration according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
- 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
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
These are the symptoms of severe dehydration, a medical emergency:
- 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
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.
Get immediate medical care if you develop severe signs and symptoms such as extreme thirst, a lack of urination, shriveled skin, dizziness and confusion.
This is a recipe from Lana Richardson who is an expert in preparedness. She has written a fantastic book (I hear) called “Emergencies and How to Prepare for Them”. My sister saw a presentation by her and purchased her book. I saw it online at Amazon.com and when I was ready to buy-it was gone and her website is down so I don’t have it! I would love to say I have permission from her to put this in my blog, but I don’t, the information is so valuable I am using it and will ask forgiveness when I can find her. To view her presentation, which I highly recommend, go here. She received the recipe from an emergency room nurse. It has the correct ratio of salts and sugars to do the trick.
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp “Real Salt” it has minerals included
1/4 tsp “No Salt” (Potassium Chloride)
2 1/2 tsp sugar
optional: 1/2 tsp lemon juice powder or unsweetened Koolaid-my addition to the recipe
Mix into 4 cups water and sip every 5 minutes until person begins to urinate normally
If you would like to mass produce this recipe (makes 48 servings):
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup “Real Salt”
1/4 cup “No Salt”
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice powder or unsweetened Koolaid
Use 3 1/2 tsp in 4 cups water and sip every 5 minutes until person begins to urinate normally
The “No Salt” and “Real Salt” are a little pricey, but one container can make quite a bit. I have a larger container for home and smaller ones for our 72 hr kits. I found the containers in the bulk section of Winco where the spices are. You could also use empty containers you already have but know whatever was in there can remain in the plastic. I washed an empty parsley container several times in the dishwasher and it still smells like parsley which would permeate the rehydration mix so I didn’t use it. I printed up labels with directions and sealed the label under packing tape to help prevent water damage so it will remain readable.