May 26, 2022

Dehydration takes place when a person loses so much body fluid they are not able to function normally. Indications can include dry skin, tongue and lips, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, fewer urinations as well as tearless sobbing. Drinking enough water is important for everyone, but it’s more important for children. It’s very helpful to know the signs a kid may not be drinking enough water.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when someone loses a lot fluid and can’t operate normally. There are a multitude of symptoms from dehydration. Dehydration may cause throwing up, irregular bowel movements, fever, headaches and fatigue. The most common cause is simply not drinking enough water. If a child has a serious situation of dehydration, they might not have the ability to replace body liquid by drinking or eating normally. In these situations, the child might need to go to a health facility.

Another reason why dehydration is more critical in children is children are less likely to drink a healthy amount of water. According to studies, about 15% of children ages 9-13 in the U.S. drink enough water. About 25% of children ages 4-8 drink enough water.

How Do I Know a Child is Dehydrated?

These are some signs of dehydration to look for in kids:

  • Dry tongue or dry lips
  • No tears when crying
  • Less than six wet diapers daily and/or no urination for eight hours
  • Sunken soft spot on baby’s head
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry or wrinkled skin
  • Deep, rapid breathing
  • Cold and blotchy hands and feet
  • Make Sure Kids Are Drinking Enough Water

It’s normal for kids playing outside, even when it’s a hot Charlotte summer, for them to forget about having water or taking water breaks. Children may not realize consuming enough water is very important. It’s important even when the weather or temperature seem fine. On a typical day, we lose almost all of our body water with different tasks, such as sweating, tears, breathing, and so on. Water even vaporizes from our skin when we’re outside. So, always check on kids and remind them about drinking enough water. And, make sure it’s plenty of water instead of soda or sugary drinks.

Signs of Dehydration in Children

  • Dizziness or Tiredness

Older kids generally complain about feeling light-headed or woozy if they’re not consuming enough water. Additionally, kids might get fatigued abnormally or suddenly during the day.

  • Dry or Sticky Mouth

A common indication of dehydration in children is avcompletely dry or sticky mouth. Kids with dry or sticky mouth may have show white or foamy saliva or have dry, half-cracked lips.

  • Lack of Fluids

If a child cries, but has no tears, this is a sign of dehydration. You should get the kid to drink water.

  • Headaches

Migraines from dehydration are common. Dehydration is thought to impact brain functions and blood flow. When a child hasn’t consumed enough water, blood pressure becomes abnormal which can harm the brain and other organs. A severe headache can be one of the signs.

Drinking water can make a fast difference and help someone feel better relatively quickly. Making sure a child gets water quickly, and steadily for the next few hours, helps alleviate these symptoms. Drinks with electrolytes, salt and potassium, but not high in sugar or caffeine, help, too.

How Can I Help My Child Stay Hydrated?

  • Very carefully follow a medical professional’s guidelines for feeding.
  • Do not give children under age 2 over-the-counter medicine for diarrhea, unless advised by your doctor.
  • Encourage a child to drink non-sugar drinks and water. Soft drinks, juices and sports drinks with sugar can irritate diarrhea and not be healthy hydration.
  • Breastfeed babies normally.
  • Electrolyte drinks may be good choices occasionally or if advised by the doctor.
  • Slowly raise the amount of fluids as well as food you provide your kid.
  • Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) for high temperature. Do not give a child Aspirin.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep each night.
  • Look for signs of dehydration that get worse or return too often.

If a Child Feels Dehydrated, Should I Call a Doctor?

Call a medical professional if your child:

  • Has any signs or symptoms of dehydration.
  • Has been throwing up or having diarrhea.
  • Has no wet diapers or urination within the last eight hours.
  • Is lethargic or fatigued.

Dehydration can usually be treated at home, but severe cases might require a hospital stay. Health center care might include:

  • Fluids provided intravenously (IV)
  • Monitoring of electrolytes
  • Acetaminophen for high temperature
  • Rest

Questions to Ask a Physician About Dehydration

  • Should I give my child medicine? If so, for how long and at what times of the day?
  • When will my child begin to feel better?
  • Do I need to bring my child back for a follow-up appointment?
  • Should I keep my child home from school or daycare?
  • Should my child be limited from some activities? If so, which ones?
  • Are there certain foods or fluids my child should have? or should avoid?
  • Which over the counter medications do you recommend?
  • Which over the counter medications or treatments do you not recommend?
  • Which signs and symptoms should I be aware of in the future?


South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. HALO systems solve hard water problems, give your family clear, great-tasting water and are totally maintenance free. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.