dehydration in children | Symptoms, causes and treatment

Dehydration is one of the most serious medical problems, especially when it affects young children and infants. Dehydration occurs when a person loses a large amount of body fluids along with the vitamins and minerals they contain, and the body cannot replace them at the same rate, so the patient is at risk of serious complications that may kill his life. We will know. The article discusses dehydration in terms of symptoms, causes, complications, home remedies, and medications.

What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a medical emergency in which a child’s body loses a large amount of fluid through vomiting, diarrhea, or even excessive sweating. Body fluids contain vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the vital functions of the body, and their deficiency in the body can lead to a major imbalance in the performance of these functions, which may lead to very serious complications. In many cases, dehydration requires immediate hospitalization to the emergency room as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of dehydration in children?

Some of the symptoms and signs may indicate that the child has a dehydration problem and needs first aid at home, followed by prompt medical intervention. Here are the most important of these symptoms:

  • Dryness of the tongue and lips, which leads to the adhesion of the lips to each other.
  • Cry without tears.
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dryness and wrinkling of the skin.
  • Cold extremities (hands and feet).
  • A sunken spot on the infant’s head.
  • Peeing less often than usual or having fewer wet diapers for infants.
  • abnormal behaviour.
  • Cravings for sleepiness.
  • Dizziness;
  • Feeling very thirsty and longing for water.
  • The urine is dark in color and smells strong.

What are the causes of dehydration in children?

Dehydration is caused by the body losing more fluids than it takes in, and can result from any of the following:

  • Severe diarrhea.
  • Frequent severe vomiting.
  • Hot weather and loss of a large amount of sweat.
  • The child does not drink water for long periods due to sores in the mouth or throat.
  • The child’s temperature rises.
  • The child plays for long periods of time in very hot weather.

What is the treatment of dehydration in children?

The appropriate treatment for children varies depending on the severity of the dehydration. For children with mild to moderate dehydration, oral fluid replacement may be sufficient, either at home or in the hospital. For children who are severely dehydrated, they should be replaced with intravenous fluids. In the following lines, we mention the treatment methods in detail:

Home remedies for dehydration in children

rehydration solution

It is recommended to give the child two tablespoons of rehydration solution every few minutes. The solution can be obtained from pharmacies without a prescription, and it is not recommended to replace it with home drinks such as fruit juice or water, as it contains appropriate amounts of sugars, minerals, and vitamins. It is also advised not to provide the complete solution in one go. So that the child does not vomit and his condition worsens.


If the baby is breastfed, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding or formula at the usual rates, as long as there is no recurrent vomiting.

Eat healthy

If the child is able to eat, it is recommended to provide him with healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vegetables and fruits.

Refrain from certain drinks

It is not recommended to give the child juices that contain sugar, as well as carbonated water, because they can make things worse, especially if the child has diarrhea. It is also advised not to give the child any medicine to treat diarrhea or vomiting without consulting a doctor.


If the child has a high temperature, he can be given paracetamol at home.

means of comfort

Rest helps the child recover faster, but care must be taken that the child does not spend long hours sleeping without food and drink.

Treating dehydration in children

Treatment of dehydration in children in the hospital
If the child does not respond to home remedies, or if he suffers from dehydration from the beginning to the extent that he cannot obtain fluids by mouth, he must go to the hospital immediately, and the treatment is usually as follows:

Intravenous compensatory solutions, to compensate for the lack of fluids, vitamins and minerals.
Intravenous paracetamol for fever, if available.
Total comfort.
Monitoring the level of mineral salts in the blood by analysis.
Preventing dehydration in children
Certain things can help protect your baby from dehydration, such as:

Do not stay in extremely hot weather for long periods of time.
Offer fluids frequently to the child in hot climates.
During free play and exercise, the child stops every 20 minutes to drink.
Offer rehydration solution to the child when he has frequent diarrhea or vomiting.

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