Recognizing when Home Treatment is No Longer Sufficient

If frank red blood is seen in the stool, or if the feces is black or contains pus, then medical consultation is recommended. Dehydration is evidence for consulting a physician and may require hospitalization. Signs and symptoms of dehydration in adults include thirst, reduced frequency of urination and/or dark color of urine, dry skin that loses its elasticity and remains in a pleat when pinched, fatigue, and light-headedness. In children, dehydration is noticed from the top down. First signs are the absence of tears when a child cries, the mouth and tongue become dry, urine flow and frequency is decreased. A child is considered dehydrated if it fails to urinate for a period of three hours. Other signs of dehydration include high fever, listlessness, and pleating up of skin after pinching.

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