Dehydration in children

Severe dehydration means:

  • The child's mouth and eyes are extremely dry.
  • The child passes little or no urine for 12 or more hours.
  • The child does not seem alert or able to think clearly.
  • The child is too weak or dizzy to stand.
  • The child may pass out.

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency. Call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

Moderate dehydration means:

  • The child is a lot more thirsty than usual.
  • The child's mouth and eyes are drier than usual.
  • The child's urine is much darker than usual.
  • The child passes little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
  • The child feels dizzy when he or she stands or sits up.

Mild dehydration means:

  • The child is more thirsty than usual.
  • The child's urine is darker than usual.

Last Updated: June 30, 2009

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: Martin Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine

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