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Dehydration: is it okay to give my toddler a sports drink if he seems dehydrated?

If your child is under two years old, then no. You should not be giving him any kind of sports drink designed for adults to treat dehydration.

That’s because sports drinks for grownups have a very high sugar content that your child’s body cannot process. Instead of making the problem better, you may be making it worse.

A better idea is to look for a rehydration solution that is especially formulated for children. There are plenty on the market that have the right balance of sugar, electrolytes and water.

Remember that giving your child plain water is not a good idea either. If he’s losing a lot of fluids, then he is losing electrolytes too, and plain water will make the problem worse. It can even result in a condition called over hydration that is as dangerous to children and adults as dehydration.

If you are in any doubt, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

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