Dehydration 139

After it was developed by the United States Army in 1946, DEET was registered for use by the general public in 1957. More than 230 products containing DEET are currently registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA recently issued a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the chemical DEET, concluding that as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing the substance do not present a health concern. Based on extensive toxicity testing, the EPA believes that the normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general population.

However, the EPA is no longer allowing child safety claims on product labels that had appeared on certain products with a DEET concentration of 15 percent or less. The scientific data on DEET do not support product label claims of child safety based on the percentage of active ingredient.

dehydration A serious lack of fluids in the body that occurs when a child is not drinking enough to replace fluids lost through sweating. It is a serious medical condition that in extreme cases can be fatal.

Under normal conditions, children lose some body water every day in sweat, tears, urine, and stools. This fluid is usually replaced throughout the day from the water and salt content of what children eat and drink. Sometimes, however, children lose too much water and salts as a result of fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or heavy exercise. For example, a child can lose up to a quart of sweat during a two-hour sports game.

In the most severe cases, they may not be able to replace this water simply by drinking normally. This is especially true if an illness prevents a child from taking fluids by mouth, or if fluid loss is so extreme (as with severe diarrhea) that the child cannot replace it by simply drinking more often.

Symptoms

If a child is exercising heavily, or is suffering from fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, a parent or coach should watch for the following signs of dehydration:

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