Dehydration in a child


A child’s fragile body is largely vulnerable to various viral and bacterial infections, the dangerous condition of which is always dehydrated (dehydration). It disrupts the work of all organs and systems, especially urinary, cardiovascular, nervous. Dehydration in a child develops rapidly and threatens life, so it is very important to notice his symptoms in a timely manner and provide competent assistance.

Consider in detail what dehydration is, how to recognize dangerous symptoms, and what adults need to do.

What is dehydration

Dehydration (dehydration, exsicosis) - a significant decrease in the amount of fluid in the body, as well as vital electrolytes (salts of potassium, sodium, calcium and others), relative to the physiological norm, causing metabolic disturbances. In this case, the flow of new fluid into the body is extremely slow or absent altogether.

In children, dehydration occurs much faster than in adults, while the younger the child, the higher the rate of development of this condition.

Why does dehydration occur in a child

The most common causes of dehydration include:

  • fluid loss due to disruption of the gastrointestinal tract with vomiting, diarrhea caused by rotavirus, Escherichia coli, salmonella,
  • pathological loss of water through the urinary system, for example, with complications of type 1 diabetes,
  • excessive evaporation through the skin (sweating in very hot weather, burns of a significant part of the body),
  • cavity losses (into the intestinal lumen with obstruction),
  • imperceptible loss of fluid with increasing body temperature,
  • hereditary systemic pathologies leading to impaired water-salt metabolism (malabsorption, cystic fibrosis),
  • lack of drinking due to neglect of adults.

Symptoms of dehydration in a child

The signs and consequences of dehydration are directly dependent on the degree of loss of fluid and minerals.

The mild degree that accompanies all intestinal infections in children and is most common is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • intense thirst
  • stool 4-5 times a day,
  • rare vomiting
  • moderate dryness of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and eyes,
  • irritability, moodiness,
  • increased smell of urine, staining it in a darker color,
  • weight loss - not more than 5%.

The average degree of dehydration is characterized by the following features:

  • frequent vomiting
  • loose stool up to 10 times a day,
  • dry mouth
  • skin turgor reduction,
  • faded eyeballs,
  • sunken fontanel in infants,
  • lethargy, drowsiness, lack of interest in the game,
  • very dark urine
  • reduction in urination (not more than 3 times a day),
  • weight loss of 6-9%.

The severe stage is accompanied by:

  • watery bowel movements more than 20 times a day,
  • indomitable vomiting
  • distinct foci of dryness on the mucous membranes,
  • almost complete lack of skin elasticity,
  • cold limbs of cyanotic marble shade,
  • lowering blood pressure
  • lack of response to stimuli, distraction of consciousness,
  • shortness of breath, rapid breathing,
  • cramps
  • lack of urination
  • a significant decrease in body weight (up to 20%).

Lack of urination for more than 6 hours, a pungent smell and dark color of urine are a sure symptom of dehydration and a signal for immediate medical attention.

The danger of dehydration

Dehydration jeopardizes the normal functioning of all organs and systems. As a result, a shock state, convulsive syndrome may develop, the heart rhythm is disturbed, pressure drops sharply.

In some cases, diseases of the cardiovascular system, renal failure, and brain damage develop.

With untimely initiation of therapy, a fatal outcome is also possible.


Treatment for dehydration in children is aimed at immediate replenishment of fluid loss - orally, intravenously or using a probe.

For soldering a child, fit:

  • water (bottled children's or filtered boiled),
  • decoction of rice groats (stops vomiting, diarrhea, relieves irritation of the gastric mucosa, removes toxic substances),
  • dried fruit compote, cooked without added sugar,
  • pharmacy products that make up for the loss of electrolytes, for example Regidron, Regidralit, Humana-Electrolyte,
  • a raisin decoction (150 g is poured with a liter of hot water and simmered for 20 minutes) helps to restore the normal level of potassium in the body,
  • home-made rehydration solution (20 g of sugar, 3.5 g of salt, 2.5 g of soda are diluted in 1 liter of boiled water).

Do not offer the child a large amount of liquid at once - this will only provoke another attack of vomiting. Melting is done gradually: 1 teaspoon every 5 minutes.

In the case of indomitable vomiting, a child's categorical refusal to take fluids, complications of diabetes mellitus, as well as in conditions associated with loss of consciousness, rehydration is carried out by intravenous infusion of sodium chloride and glucose solutions. Also, in a medical institution with constant monitoring of blood counts, the child is injected with potassium preparations and bicarbonate solutions.

In especially difficult situations, the replenishment of the required amount of fluid can be carried out through a nasogastric tube.

At the first signs of this condition, you should immediately consult a doctor. It is he who will choose the right treatment regimen, and most importantly, he will be able to identify the underlying disease that caused dehydration.

Restorative diet

At the time of treatment, as well as a week after normalization of the baby's condition, it is recommended to adhere to a special diet - eat light, but at the same time, carbohydrate-rich foods. The child can be offered:

  • bread rolls, toast,
  • milkless porridge
  • pasta with a little butter,
  • bananas
  • lean meat broths,
  • mashed potatoes,
  • steam chicken cutlets,
  • grated baked apple.

It is not recommended to use:

  • dairy, dairy products,
  • sweet sodas
  • juices
  • raw fruits, vegetables,
  • bean
  • smoked meats, sausages.
  • chocolate, cocoa.

It is necessary to eat food in small amounts 5-6 times a day. Food should be moderately warm. If the baby does not have an appetite, then you should not tune it, first of all you need to actively offer him a drink.

Dehydration prevention

It is important to observe the drinking regimen, especially if the baby is very small. At the same time, water is not replaced by tea, juice, soda. If the child refuses to drink plain water, then you can go to the trick - add a spoonful of honey and a slice of lemon. Such a drink is not only able to quench thirst, but is also useful, provided that there is no allergy to these ingredients and the baby is more than a year old.

Breastfeeding a child up to 6 months of age is not recommended to be supplemented with water. Exceptions are hot weather, medical indications. With artificial feeding, water should be present in the diet from birth.

How much water does a child need per day:

  • up to 1 month - 15-20 ml,
  • 1-2 months - 60-90 ml,
  • 5-6 months - 90-100 ml,
  • 7-8 months - 110-120 ml,
  • 9-12 months - 120-200 ml,
  • 1-2 years - 700-1000 ml,
  • 2-5 years - 800-1000 ml,
  • 5-8 years - 1000-1200 ml,
  • 9-12 years old - 1500-1700 ml.

In hot weather and elevated body temperature, the amount of fluid per day increases 1.5 times.

So, it is quite easy to deal with dehydration - young children often become infected with viral and bacterial infections, actively lose fluid during games, and endure hot weather harder. The main thing is not to miss the first symptoms of dehydration and as soon as possible to begin adequate treatment, selected by a specialist.

Causes of dehydration in a child

The main cause of the disease is a high temperature, during which the body loses a large amount of fluid, and the baby refuses to drink. Dyspnea, frequent and severe vomiting, as well as diarrhea can provoke a pathological condition. Rotaviruses, Escherichia coli, adenoviruses, helminths (lamblia, salmonella, etc.) can cause such negative phenomena. Less commonly, such negative symptoms manifest themselves against the background of intoxication of the body with food, household chemicals, or medications.

Often the disease develops against a viral or bacterial infection, accompanied by sore throat. The baby can not take enough water, because drinking causes unpleasant and painful sensations.

Other causes of pathology:

  • Undetected diabetes.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Inadequate intake of water in the body, which may be due to subjective or objective factors.
  • Low humidity in the room.
  • High rate of electrolyte-water metabolism.
  • Impaired functioning of the kidneys and neurohumoral mechanisms that regulate the water-salt balance.

Symptoms of dehydration in a child

In children, dehydration develops much faster and is acute. This is due to imperfection of metabolic processes. In the event of severe vomiting, diarrhea or hyperthermia, you should definitely call a doctor or ambulance and consult about further actions. This will save the child from serious complications.

When to sound the alarm? Key features:

  • Excessive dryness of the skin and mucous membranes (in particular, in the oral cavity).
  • Constant and intense thirst.
  • Increased saliva viscosity, dark urine with a pungent odor. Rare urination with a small amount of urine can be observed.
  • Violation of the psycho-emotional state: constant crying, moods, anxiety, sleep disturbance and lack of appetite.
  • Cardiopalmus.

With the development of a severe degree of the disease, the symptoms become more acute and alarming:

  • Weakness and constant drowsiness of a previously active, cheerful child.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Cramps, cramps, swelling of the limbs.
  • Sinking of the fontanel and eyeballs.
  • Reduced skin turgor.
  • The development of acetone syndrome.

Lack of timely assistance and prolonged dehydration can lead to a number of serious complications that are dangerous to life and health:

  • Disruption of blood circulation in the brain, which can lead to mental retardation.
  • Decreased protective function of the blood-brain barrier in the brain.
  • Increased risk of developing Alzheimer's syndrome, Parkinson's disease, or sclerosis in the future.
  • An increase in blood viscosity, which threatens the formation of blood clots and the development of a stroke.
  • Narrowing of the gaps of blood vessels, which disrupts blood circulation throughout the body.
  • The development of obesity as a result of metabolic disorders.
  • Increased risk of developing immunodeficiency chronic diseases.

How to treat dehydration in children older than 1 year

In this case, oral dehydration is used. The use of a large amount of fluid is indicated. In this case, ordinary boiled water, dried fruit tea, rice broth and special dehydration solutions (Regidron, Regidralit, ORS-200, etc.) can be used. Special solutions restore not only the level of fluid in the body, but also normalize the electrolyte balance. Dosage is calculated based on the body weight of a small patient.

You can also prepare the solution yourself by combining 1 liter of water, half a teaspoon of sodium chloride, soda and potassium chloride, as well as 4 tablespoons of sugar. Children from 3 years old can additionally be given non-carbonated water.

When dehydration is moderate or severe, the child must be placed in a hospital, where he is given an infusion solution intravenously and the water-salt balance is constantly monitored, as well as the general condition of the patient.

To more quickly restore the normal state of the child, the cause of the pathological condition should be eliminated. For this purpose, antiemetic, antihistamines, antidiarrheal and other drugs are prescribed.

In the case of the development of pathology for an unknown reason, a full medical examination of the baby is mandatory. First of all, it is required to reject or confirm one of the diagnoses: diabetes mellitus and renal failure.

Dehydration occurs quite often, the main thing is to determine it in time, and it is better to prevent it. To this end, it is important for the child to ensure a sufficient supply of fluid, especially during the period of the disease, accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea or high body temperature.

Features of dehydration in newborns

The sensitivity of babies to moisture loss is due to simple factors:

  • In a children's body, a higher water level is about 75%, while in an adult - 60%.
  • The ratio of body surface to body weight is higher. This contributes to greater evaporation of moisture through the skin.
  • Underdeveloped compensation mechanisms - the body’s ability to control the level of water in the body by concentration of urine.
  • The kid cannot independently provide himself with a drink, it depends on the actions of an adult.

Dehydration is not an independent disease. This is a condition caused by the development of a viral infection (rotovirus, adenovirus, norovirus) or a bacterial infection (Escherichia coli, Salmonella). In the fight against them, the body includes protective mechanisms. This leads to the first signs of dehydration in the baby.

Causes of impaired fluid levels in children:

  • Frequent and prolonged vomiting
  • Diarrhea,
  • Heat,
  • Refusal of food and drink (may be caused by sore throat).
  • Diabetes,
  • Hereditary diseases (cystic fibrosis).

Important! Often, the factor that provoked dehydration of the baby is a banal overheating. The heat transfer functions of the baby are not yet sufficiently formed, the skin is thin. The child can quickly freeze, but overheats even faster, which leads to increased sweating and the appearance of rashes on the skin.

Diaper change for diarrhea

How to identify dehydration in infants

When dehydration occurs in infants, the symptoms vary due to its appearance. Some signs arise as a result of the influence of water loss on the body, while others as a result of compensation mechanisms.

The main signs of dehydration in a child:

  • Deterioration of general condition: lethargy, drowsiness.
  • Foamy saliva or lack thereof.
  • Pallor of the skin.
  • Rapid shallow breathing.
  • Moodiness, crying without tears,
  • Thirst.
  • Reduced urination.

Important! Sometimes dehydration of the baby can provoke volumetric regurgitation after eating. It is important to ensure that the baby does not take air during feeding, after eating it should be held in a column.

Spitting up the baby after feeding

How to determine the degree of dehydration

In order to understand how to improve the well-being of infants, it is necessary to determine the stage of dehydration: mild, moderate or severe.

Symptoms of dehydration in a child at different stages:

  • Mild - thirst, loose stools (up to 4-5 times a day), frequent spitting up, decreased urine output.
  • The average degree is frequent stool (up to 9-10 times a day) with possible particles of mucus or blood, intense vomiting, dry mucous membranes (oral cavity, nose), salivation is weak, viscous, and the pulse is weak. In addition, urination becomes rare, a fontanel dropping is observed.
  • Severe - urination is not observed, the mucous membranes dry out, the eyelids do not close, the skin is marbled, gathers in folds, cold hands and feet. In severe stages of dehydration, the child refuses to drink, drowsy, lethargic.

Attention! Lack of urination for more than 6 hours is a dangerous symptom that needs to be determined. It is also important to monitor the appearance and smell of urine - the presence of a pungent odor and unnaturally bright color is an occasion to consult a doctor.

Suspected dehydration actions of parents

Having noticed the first signs of dehydration in a child, it is necessary to find out the exact cause of this process and try to eliminate it. At elevated temperatures, use antipyretic drugs, with a viral or bacterial infection, drugs prescribed by a doctor. If the cause of fluid loss is overheating, move the baby to a cool room, undress, buy.

The next step is gradual desoldering. If you suspect dehydration, you must give your child a drink of clean boiled water, a teaspoon every 5 minutes. Do it better with a syringe. The procedure should be repeated until the skin turns pink, breathing calms down, urination normalizes.

Tip. If the baby is breastfed, the condition can be improved by frequent application of the baby to the breast. Mother's milk contains a significant percentage of water.

First aid for dehydration

If the middle stage of dehydration is manifested, desoldering becomes more intense. Sugar should be added to the water - the body needs glucose. Green tea, dried fruit broth, water with lemon, and compote restore water balance well. You can not drink fruit juice.

An effective means to restore fluid levels are special rehydration drugs that are in the pharmacy.

An alternative to such drugs can be a tool, home-cooked from improvised products:

  • 1 liter of boiled water,
  • 40 g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp baking soda.

Give this solution to drink regularly, at the rate of 10 ml per 1 kg of the child’s weight for an hour in small portions (if the baby weighs 8 kg, then he must drink 80 ml of liquid in an hour).

Important! Do not give children isotonic drinks designed to maintain water balance during sports training.

Child with a drinker

How to treat dehydration in children

With fluid loss, a violation of the natural balance of electrolytes, sodium, potassium and chlorine is observed, which leads to improper functioning of all body systems.

Treating dehydration at home is oral rehydration. Regidron and Humana-electrolyte preparations are used.

In the case of hospitalization in a serious condition of the child, oral or intravenous treatment is used.

A rehydration salt solution is preorally administered with a nasogastric tube. Intravenous infusion is carried out with a solution of Ringer's lactate.

In the process of treatment, solutions of glucose, sodium chloride (saline), potassium salts, bicarbonate or isotonic solution are used. In parallel, the treatment of the disease that caused dehydration is carried out.

When medical attention is needed

Mild dehydration, subject to a timely response, does not require medical attention. Proper care, desoldering normalize the baby's condition. In the presence of more serious symptoms (intense vomiting, frequent loose stools, poor health), it is necessary to consult a pediatrician, conduct an examination, he will determine the condition of the child and prescribe treatment.

Severe form requires immediate hospitalization. It is not difficult to recognize it - the baby feels very bad, hardly moves, he is tormented by continuous vomiting, fever, but his limbs are cold, his skin is pale, marble, his lips crack.

Kid under the dropper

What could be the consequences

Do not underestimate the violation of the water balance - the consequences can be very serious:

  • Dizziness, loss of consciousness,
  • Muscle cramps
  • Disruption of the heart, digestive system,
  • Mental disorders,
  • Renal failure
  • Cerebral edema,
  • Fatal outcome.

Attention! Even a mild form of dehydration has a bad effect on the absorption of drugs by the body. This feature is especially unsafe for children with chronic diseases who are forced to take medication regularly.

When you can not solder the baby

There are times when oral treatment at home cannot help. The main factors in which desoldering is unproductive and can only do harm:

  • Continuous and profuse vomiting
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Abrupt cessation or lack of urine within 12 hours (may indicate kidney failure),
  • Diabetes.

This condition requires qualified medical attention.

Dehydration of the body in a child up to a year is especially dangerous - the body's functions are not yet sufficiently developed. The baby is susceptible to all external factors, quickly loses fluid. Only competent desoldering in the first stages or timely treatment for more serious symptoms can protect the health of the newborn from serious consequences.

General concept

This is a pathological condition, it is associated with a decrease in the amount of water in the bodywhen it falls below the necessary physiological values.

Dehydration is always accompanied by a failure of metabolic processes. It is not a separate disease, it is only a complication of the disease, which develops very quickly.

Especially hard Recognize dehydration in an infant, meanwhile, the rate of pathological changes, as well as the extent, is very high.


There are three degrees of severity - mild, moderate and severe. With a mild degree, it is lost no more than 5% of liquid, and it usually occurs in the first hours after diarrhea.

With moderate severity, water is lost 6-10%, develops from a day to a day and a half, usually against the background of a very high temperature and refusal to drink.

Severe dehydration is considered to be a loss of 10% of the fluid, resulting from incessant vomiting and diarrhea.

When does it occur?

Most often, dehydration is a consequence of viral or bacterial infection. Since bacteria and viruses are provocateurs of the production of poisons, which poison the cellular composition of the body.

And the body itself, to overcome the problem, includes all means of protection - the temperature rises, vomiting and diarrhea develop, loss of appetite is noted.

Also can lead to dehydration:

  1. Diseases for which a sore throat is characteristic, why the child refuses to drink.
  2. Diarrhea and vomiting due to intoxication due to poisoning.
  3. Inadequate food regime in principle.
  4. Profuse sweating due to excessive physical exertion or increased external temperature (referring to room temperature).

Exactly little kids are at risk - There is more water in the children's body than in the adult. Also, children have a high rate of water-electrolyte metabolism, but the renal and neurohumoral mechanisms of the regulatory processes of water and salts are still not so perfect.

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How is it manifested?

How to understand that a child has dehydration? If the baby is up to a year old, and he vomiting began, severe diarrhea, fever - you need to immediately call an ambulance. Do not run to the clinic, do not wait until the pediatrician arrives, namely, call the medical team.

Dehydration develops almost immediately, you can only notice that the child is sluggish, think that SARS begins, and the business is already taking a dangerous turn.

Urgently call doctors with such symptoms:

  • the baby has dry mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue,
  • the skin is grayish
  • increased saliva viscosity
  • the child is lethargic and sleepy.

Similar emergency call of doctors it requires a state when the child is constantly crying, he is restless, while the cry is dry (without tears).

In the baby, the fontanelles sink on the head, the pulse quickens, he writes less frequently, while the urine is dark with a pungent odor. The baby's eyes fall, and there is an acute feeling of thirst.

How to provide first aid?

Breasts simply can’t drink a lot, it’s physically unrealistic, because parents themselves can’t do anything - actions can make matters worse.

Call a doctor immediately. If the doctor sees a mild degree, he will prescribe treatment, and may even leave the child at home. But more often the baby is hospitalized.

Older children need to be given plenty of water. Moreover, special solutions. This is Regidron, Oralit, you can drink Pedilight, Glucosolan.

In the first five hours, the solution is given 5-15 ml every 10 minutes. When the child's condition improves, the solution is reduced, but he still has to satisfy physiological needs. If the child doesn’t drink at all, you can pour a solution over the cheek with a syringe without a needle.

How to replace pharmaceutical powder?

What to do if there is no rehydrate at home? You don’t have to run as fast as you can to the pharmacy (especially since it’s not always possible), make the rehydration solution yourself.

Take 1 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of baking soda, and half a teaspoon of potassium chloride in 1 liter of boiled, cooled water.

Ready solution used only a day.

In this case, the liquid should be at room temperature, since a hot drink takes moisture, but a cold one will simply transit.

What is absolutely impossible to do?

You can’t categorically wait, hoping that it will pass by itself. You can not overheat the child, you can not give drugs that the doctor did not prescribe. Do not give antiemetics, these medicines are given strictly limited in special cases, and to older children.

The scheme is simple: there were alarming signs - call a doctor. For children up to a year, this is only an ambulance; older children can call a pediatrician. In the meantime, he goes, drink with a rehydration solution.

Why is this condition dangerous?

What are the implications? Dehydration is extremely dangerous for the brain. With dehydration, the barrier function of the capillaries of the brain is disturbed, as a result of which dangerous substances can enter the brain.

Water is just as important to the brain as oxygen. For the circulatory system, dehydration is also dangerous - blood thickens, and its main cells decrease their activity.

For infants, dehydration is dangerous - it leads to borderline conditions, unless urgent assistance is provided.

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The doctor examines the child, but the information that the parents will say is no less important. You should track how often the baby writes, if urination is absent for more than 6 hours, this is the most obvious indicator dehydration.

The color and smell of urine is also indicative - when dehydrated, it becomes dark, and the smell is sharper.

Sluggish or, conversely, hyperactive, crying without tears - all this indicates dehydration.

Treatment Methods and Drugs

After examining the baby, after determining the degree of dehydration, the doctor determines where the child is better treated.

Mild dehydration usually treated at home.

The baby takes special solutions that restore the water-salt balance. Babies under two years of age are usually prescribed Rehydron and Rehydrolite.

Medium severity is already an indication for inpatient treatment, albeit not for long. The child will be given an infusion solution, and watch how the small body begins to make up for the lack of water. They write out home when the child feels better, and he himself begins to drink.

With a severe degree of dehydration, the child is urgently transferred to a hospital.

There he will have a full examination, infusion therapy, treatment of the infection itself, if the latter is diagnosed.

Causes of dehydration

Dehydration in a child develops under the following conditions:

  • excessive loss of water by the body,
  • reduced fluid intake
  • acute malnutrition.

The loss of water occurs in other ways, but their value in the pathology of dehydration is minimal. The mechanisms of exsicosis are based on the above reasons.

Excessive fluid loss is observed:

  • with vomiting
  • in case of prolonged diarrhea,
  • with increased urination,
  • as a result of profuse sweating.

Dehydration due to profuse sweating is extremely rare. Severe dehydration due to loss of water with sweat was not observed.

Dehydration can develop in case of prolonged fasting with normal intake of water. This is due to the loss by the body of proteins that create the pressure necessary for the functioning of the cell. A health hazard is not inferior to dehydration due to a lack of fluid in the body.

Diseases that cause dehydration

Dehydration is most often caused by infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition can be observed:

  • with rotovirus
  • in case of infection with astroviruses,
  • as a result of infection with adeno- and calciviruses,
  • with cholera,
  • in case of salmonellosis,
  • with shigellosis, etc.

Loss of fluid can cause acute food poisoning. But the condition is characterized by a lesser severity of symptoms and a relatively mild course. Manifestations of acute food poisoning disappear within 1–2 days from the moment of occurrence. This is due to the removal of pathogens from the body.

What are the degrees of dehydration?

The severity of dehydration is determined according to the percentage of fluid loss versus patient weight. Four stages are distinguished.

  1. Loss of water is 1-3% of the weight of the patient. Not life threatening.
  2. Loss of fluid corresponds to 4–6% of the patient’s body weight. Without timely medical attention, death is possible.
  3. Loss of fluid within 7–9%. Moderate risk of death.
  4. The loss of water is 10% or more of the weight of the patient. The condition is deadly.

In children under one year of age, due to the physiological characteristics of the body, a higher fluid content in the body than in older children, severity is determined by modified criteria.

In infants, four stages of dehydration are distinguished.

  1. Water loss up to 3% of body weight.
  2. Loss of fluid 3–6% by weight.
  3. Fluid loss of 6–10%.
  4. Loss of water in excess of 10% of the mass of the child.

As in older children, in a child under one year old, severe dehydration is deadly, stage 3 is a moderate fatal risk, and stage 2 rarely leads to death. Mild exicosis does not pose a threat to the life of the baby.

Symptoms of dehydration in children

Regardless of the severity of dehydration in a child, he will have characteristic manifestations of a lack of water in the body. These include:

  • crying without tears
  • dry lips and tongue,
  • increased thirst, frequent requests to drink,
  • decreased urination
  • decreased physical activity
  • lethargy and lethargy.

A characteristic feature in newborns and infants is the retraction of the large fontanel.

In the future, as the pathological condition progresses, signs characteristic of each stage appear.

Symptoms of mild dehydration

Signs of mild dehydration are mild, some of them may be absent.

Dehydration requires an early restoration of water balance

  • diarrhea up to 10 times
  • expressed thirst
  • vomiting less than five times
  • physiological blood pressure level for age,
  • urination is slightly reduced
  • in children under two years of age, the pulse rate is in the range of 100-120 beats per minute, in older ones it does not exceed age norms.

The condition can be normalized without special treatment.. The main task is to drink the child on time and in sufficient quantities. Otherwise, dehydration increases.

Symptoms of moderate dehydration

Moderate dehydration is characterized by aggravation of the symptoms of the previous stage and the appearance of new manifestations. The condition is characterized by:

  • vomiting 5 to 10 times,
  • diarrhea up to 20 times a day,
  • decrease in blood pressure and pulse acceleration by 10-15% of the norm,
  • constant thirst
  • the appearance of short-term muscle cramps,
  • rare urination in a reduced amount, while the urine darkens and thickens,
  • sagging and dry skin, dry mucous membranes,
  • the fontanelle is moderate.

The condition requires treatment in a hospital. The child needs speedy hospitalization, restoration of fluid loss. Otherwise, dehydration is rapidly increasing.

Manifestations of severe dehydration

Manifestations of severe exicosis are similar to the symptoms of the previous stage, but they are much more pronounced. The condition is characterized by:

  • vomiting more than 10 times a day,
  • diarrhea more than 20 times a day,
  • significant drop in blood pressure,
  • persistent acceleration of heart rate and weakening of the pulse,
  • lack of urination
  • deep retraction of the fontanel and retraction of the eyes,
  • dry and cracked mucous membranes, saggy thin dry skin,
  • significant sharpening of facial features and mild or absent facial expressions,
  • minimal physical activity or its absence, constant drowsiness,
  • limb cooling
  • episodes of loss of consciousness are possible.

A child with severe dehydration requires prompt treatment in an intensive care unit or in the intensive care unit. Otherwise, an extremely severe exicosis or death occurs.

Signs of grade 4 dehydration

The condition is characterized by severe metabolic disorders, expressed violations of the internal organs and their systems. Often extremely severe exsicosis results in the death of a child from multiple organ failure.

  • continuous vomiting and diarrhea,
  • severe convulsions are noted,
  • the mucous membranes are pale, dry, covered with cracks, and the skin is dry, can peel off, thin and flabby, cyanotic,
  • complete lack of urination,
  • decrease in body temperature
  • lack of voice and physical activity, as well as frequent episodes of loss of consciousness,
  • the fontanel sinks deeply
  • a significant increase in respiratory rate, while breathing is weak, shallow,
  • a drop in blood pressure of more than 50% of the normal level,
  • filamentous pulse, in which the frequency of heartbeats can be two to three times higher than normal,
  • pronounced sharpening of facial features, sunken eyes, blue circles appear under them,
  • wrinkled skin of the hands, and the skin collected in a fold does not straighten for 30 minutes or more.

Severe dehydration requires treatment in intensive care

Patients with extremely severe dehydration require an early restoration of the water-electrolyte balance. They are treated only in the intensive care unit.

What to do when a child is dehydrated

Self-treatment of dehydration is possible only with its mild severity, but it is strongly recommended that you seek help from a doctor.

You can give antiemetic drugs, and with diarrhea, appropriate medications. The child needs to be drunk and given to drink at each request. It is shown to limit physical activity, provide adequate nutrition. Every 1–1.5 hours it is recommended to offer water without gas. In case of refusal, it is not necessary to force drinking. If there is no effect, you need to seek medical help.

In the case of moderate and more severe dehydration, self-treatment is not recommended. It is forbidden to resort to traditional medicine. An early appeal to a medical institution is necessary.

Dehydration in children is common. With a mild severity of dehydration, you can resort to independent treatment, but it is better to seek help from a doctor. A more pronounced condition requires early hospitalization in a medical institution.


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