You asked

What is dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when there is not enough fluid in a child’s body.
Most commonly, it is caused by a viral infection that causes fever, diarrhoea and or vomiting and a reduction in a child’s ability to eat or drink.
  • Increased sweating from a very hot environment can also cause dehydration.
  • Excessive urination caused by unrecognised or poorly treated diabetes, (not taking insulin) is another cause.
  • Some of the more common viral infections which cause vomiting and diarrhoea include rotavirus or winter vomiting disease (Norovirus), which can lead to dehydration.
  • Sometimes sores in a child's mouth caused by a virus make it painful to eat or drink which can also lead to dehydration.
  • Infants and young children are much likelier to become dehydrated than older children or adults.
Find out more about what causes dehydration in children

More questions

Fever is often the first sign of an illness in children. When your child has a temperature it can be a worrying and stressful time.
Febrile convulsions are caused by a rapid increase in the body temperature of young children.
Norovirus is more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.
Common eye complaints for children and teens include myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
If a cut is too severe to treat at home then it is important to take your child to A&E or to your GP as stitches may be required. Go straight to the A&E if the cut is to an artery or if the bleeding will not stop.
The wound should heal itself in a few days. If the wound is painful, you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Croup, which is usually the result of a viral infection, causes the larynx and trachea to swell, resulting in a deep bark-like cough.
Tooth decay in babies and younger children is commonly referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. 
Cradle cap (seborrhoeic dermatitis) is a rash that starts as scaling and redness on a baby’s scalp.
Tonsillitis is a very painful condition that will cause a child to have several symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, refusal to eat, ear pain, fever, chills, enlarged glands, and a headache.



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