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Signs of Dehydration in Infants & Children

Signs of Dehydration in Infants & Children Signs of Dehydration in Infants & Children

Be alert for the following warning signs of dehydration, and notify the pediatrician immediately if any of them develop.

Mild to Moderate Dehydration:

  • Plays less than usual

  • Urinates less frequently (for infants, fewer than six wet diapers per day)

  • Parched, dry mouth

  • Fewer tears when crying

  • Sunken soft spot of the head in an infant or toddler

  • Stools will be loose if dehydration is caused by diarrhea; if dehydration is due to other fluid loss (vomiting, lack of fluid intake), there will be decreased bowel movements.

Severe Dehydration (in addition to the symptoms and signals already listed):

  • Very fussy

  • Excessively sleepy

  • Sunken eyes

  • Cool, discolored hands and feet

  • Wrinkled skin

  • Urinates only one to two times per day

Additional Information:

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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