GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than you take in, and this Easter holiday weekend, as well as during the Carnival season where a lot of outdoor activities take place, the current hot and dry weather can make you very thirsty.
When the normal water content of your body is reduced, it upsets the balance of minerals (salts and sugars) in your body, which affects the way it functions.
Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is advising the community to make sure they drink lots of water during the Eastern holiday weekend and also during the upcoming Carnival Season.
Dehydration is usually caused by not drinking enough fluid to replace what we lose. The climate with respect to very hot days, at the beach or outdoors in the day during a Carnival event, the amount of physical exercise you are doing (particularly in hot weather) and your diet can contribute to dehydration.
Anyone can become dehydrated, but certain groups are particularly at risk. These include: babies and infants – they have a low body weight and are sensitive to even small amounts of fluid loss; older people – they may be less aware that they are becoming dehydrated and need to keep drinking fluids; people with a long-term health condition – such as diabetes or alcoholism; and athletes – they can lose a large amount of body fluid through sweat when exercising for long periods.
Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy.
Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include: feeling thirsty and lightheaded; a dry mouth; tiredness; having dark coloured, strong-smelling urine; and passing urine less often than usual.
A baby may be dehydrated if they: have a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on their head; have few or no tears when they cry have fewer wet nappies; and are drowsy.
The body is affected even when you lose a small amount of fluid.
CPS wishes the community and a safe Easter holiday weekend and to drink lots of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Consult your physician if you think you or your child is dehydrated.
For more information, you can call CPS at 542-3003 or 542-2078.