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Dehydration occurs when the body loses too much water. This can occur if a child stops drinking fluids or loses large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting, or sweating. Dehydration decreases the amount of blood that circulates to the child's organs.
Dehydration in babies and young children can develop rapidly and be very dangerous. Watch closely for early signs of dehydration any time your child has a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or is too sick to drink.
A baby or young child will not be able to tell you if he or she is feeling dehydrated, so you must look for the symptoms.
Severe dehydration means:
Moderate dehydration means:
Mild dehydration means:
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor MD - Emergency Medicine
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