Dehydration and Your Child

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is a condition in which someone loses so much body fluid that he or she can't function normally. Dehydration may happen because of vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or not drinking enough water. If a child has a severe case of dehydration, he or she may not be able to replace body fluid by drinking or eating normally. In these cases, the child may have to go to the hospital.

How can I tell if my child is dehydrated?

These are some signs of dehydration to watch for in children:

How can I help my dehydrated child get better at home?

If my child is dehydrated, when should I call the doctor?

Call the doctor if your child:

Hospital treatment of dehydration

Dehydration can usually be treated at home, but severe cases may require hospitalization. Hospital care may include:

Questions to ask your child's doctor about dehydration



This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit or This document was last reviewed on: 11/28/2015