5 Signs That Your Child Might Be Dehydrated

5 Signs That Your Child Might Be Dehydrated

Proper hydration is essential for babies, kids, and adults of all ages. As humans, we are constantly losing water throughout the day from skin evaporation, crying, sweating, using the bathroom and even from breathing. This, of course, can increase the chances of dehydration.

Children, especially young kids such as toddlers, are more likely to become dehydrated because they have smaller bodies and therefore smaller water reserves. While most of the time, young children are able to replenish their lost fluids through regular eating and drinking—this isn’t always the case.

As parents, it is essential to understand some of the common warning signs that your young child may be dehydrated. Most kids will not be able to express that they feel dehydrated and will need to rely on their parents to spot these critical signs.

Dehydration is not something to take lightly, especially in children. In addition to causing cramping, headaches, weakness, and discomfort, when the body doesn’t have enough water to function properly, it can cause serious damage. In extreme cases, you child may become delirious, unconscious or even suffer brain damage.

These are some of the signs of dehydration that may help any parent determine if their young child is suffering from dehydration.

Urine Output

Urine is one of the most common ways to determine if a child is dehydrated. Children in diapers who consistently have dry diapers or those who produce little to no urine for 8 hours may be dehydrated. It is also important to look at the color of the urine as well. Dark-colored urine is a sign of dehydration. The lighter the urine, the more water is in the system.


Children cry for a number of reasons. However, when a child cries but isn’t producing any tears, it is a sign of a problem. The eyes may appear moist still, but when they are completely dry it is actually a sign of severe dehydration. The eyes may also look dark, dry or sunken in.


Looking inside of the mouth of your child is a great way to determine how hydrated or dehydrated they are. The inside of the mouth and the gums should be moist, pink and healthy looking. When the gums, mouth, and underside of the lip feel dry, tacky or look discolored, it can mean they are dehydrated.

Drinking Water

When a young child is too weak or too sick to take in fluids, it may be a sign that they are already too dehydrated to function as normal. If they are feeling too sick or weak to drink fluids from another illness, then this is a major warning sign that they may be at risk for becoming dehydrated.


Your child’s activity level can be a major indicator that they are dehydrated. If your child is lethargic, no longer interested in playing, seems weak, dizzy or unable to stand they may be dehydrated. Signs of extreme dehydration may include your child being limp and rarely responding to your voice or touch or showing extreme or unusual fussiness or irritability.

If you have questions about your child’s water intake or would like to discuss any concerns you may have, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at https://continuumtx.com/contact.