What is Dehydration?

Dehydration and Children

Causes of Dehydration in Children and Infants

Infants and young children can lose a significant amount of fluid at a rapid rate.


  • Children have more water in the body (by proportion) than adults (70% in infants compared with 60% in adults).
  • Children have a faster metabolism.
  • Children have a greater skin surface area to body weight ratio which affects the sweat loss rate.

To see the causes of dehydration, please click here

Signs of Dehydration in Children

Infants and young children will also experience the usual signs and symptoms of dehydration. Common symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue / Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Dark yellow urine, or decreased urine output
  • Sticky or dry mouth
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Irritability

There are a few more useful indicators of dehydration in pediatrics. These include:

  • Increased capillary refill – when you press the skin firmly, it takes more than 2 seconds for the white mark to disappear.
  • Skin is less elastic.
  • Breathing is abnormal.

Warning: Dehydration can quickly become very serious in pediatrics. Please seek further medical advice if you are concerned about your infant or young child.

Management of Dehydration in Children

An oral rehydration solution (Hydralyte) is suitable for use in pediatrics. Please refer to the products pages for dosage instructions for all ages (including infants under the age of 2).

When managing dehydration in infants and young children, the use of an oral fluid intake chart may be useful to measure fluid intake and losses. You can bring this chart to your physician so they can assess the degree of dehydration in your infant or young child.

Download a PDF copy of the Oral Fluid Intake Chart to help you monitor fluid intake and losses.


Management of Dehydration in Children

The following are a few tips from Hydralyte to keep your kids hydrated:

  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
  • If your child is at risk of dehydration consult your medical professional about the use of Hydralyte.
  • Kids should have access to clean fresh water – they’ll be more likely to drink it if it’s slightly chilled.

Featured Hydralyte Products: