Dehydration occurs when the body loses too much water. This
can occur if a child loses large amounts of fluid through diarrhea, vomiting,
or sweating. Dehydration decreases the amount of blood that circulates to the
child's organs. Severe dehydration can cause
shock, a life-threatening condition.
Dehydration in small children can develop rapidly and be very dangerous.
Watch closely for early signs of dehydration any time your child has a high
fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or is too sick to drink.
A young child
will not be able to tell you if he or she is feeling dehydrated, so you must
look for the symptoms.
A child with mild dehydration:
A child with moderate dehydration:
Severe dehydration is a medical emergency.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
child with severe dehydration:
May 2, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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