Signs of Dehydration in Children

Dehydration literally means loss of body fluid from a child’s body. This condition can occur due to diarrhea, vomiting or not drinking sufficient water. Also, the combination of any of the three factors can cause

signs of dehydration in children

. In very rare cases, urinating too much or sweating too much lead to dehydration in children. Infants and small children are more susceptible to become dehydrated when compared to teenagers or adults. Read on to know more about the signs of dehydration in children.

Signs of Dehydration in Children

The signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Irritability (more fussiness, crying)
  • Lethargy (less normal activity)
  • Sticky or dry mucous membranes (the lining of the tongue or mouth)
  • No tears while crying
  • In babies, soft sunken spots in front side of the head (the fontanel area)
  • Dry diapers or decreased frequency of urination
  • Sunken eyes
  • Child refuses to normally drink or eat
  • Excessive loss of body fluid by diarrhea or vomiting

Causes of Dehydration in Children

The causes of dehydration include:

  • Viral infection causes vomiting, diarhea and fever in children and finally causes dehydration:
    1. Common viral infections which causes diarrhea and vomiting include adenovirus, Norwalk virus and rotavirus.
    2. Sores in the mouth makes it painful for the child to drink or eat properly, which worsens the condition.
  • Serious bacterial infections can cause a child to eat less and also lead diarrhea and vomiting. These include bacterial infections by Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
  • Parasitic infections like Giardia lamblia even lead to a condition called



  • A very hot environment can cause heavy sweating. This may cause dehydration.
  • Excessive urination due to diabetes is another cause of dehydration.
  • Conditions like sprue or cystic fibrosis do not allow proper absorption of the nutrients derived from food. This even causes dehydration.

Hence, if any of the above mentioned signs of dehydration in children are observed, then it is important to consult a doctor for treatment.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *