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Top 8 Signs of Dehydration in Kids From Dry Skin to Irritability

Children, along with elderly adults, are the most susceptible to dehydration. That’s why you need to be sure you recognize the signs of dehydration — a few of which might surprise you.

Another reason dehydration is more alarming in children is that children have shown to be less likely to voluntarily drink enough water. According to surveys, just 15% of U.S. children 9-13 years old consume enough water each day, while children 4-8 fare slightly better at just 25%.

This is a problem because even mild dehydration has been shown to cause a variety of adverse signs in both children and adults, from lightheadedness to fatigue and more. Here, we’ll go over the signs of dehydration in kids so you know which warning signals to watch out for.

Once you believe your child is dehydrated, start giving your child small sips of DripDrop ORS right away. In a 24-hour period, your child should consume a liter of DripDrop ORS powder solution to address the dehydration.

DripDrop ORS is a proven alternative for managing mild to moderate dehydration. It's powerful enough to use in extreme circumstances but safe enough for everyday use. DripDrop ORS can be used at any age, though we recommend consulting a physician before using DripDrop ORS for children less than one year of age.

8 Signs of Dehydration in Kids

Recognizing the signs of dehydration in kids is the first step to managing the condition. From dry skin and decreased urination to moodiness, there are several ways to tell if young children are dehydrated. If your child is sick — with a condition like gastroenteritis that causes diarrhea, a fever, or vomiting — it’s even more important to watch for dehydration as these are among the main causes of dehydration. Here are some of the most common signs of dehydration in kids:

1. Dry Skin or Dry Mouth

Dry skin and dry mouth are among the most common signs of dehydration in children. When dehydrated, your child may complain about itchy skin, a sore throat, or excessive thirst. You may see visual signs of skin discomfort, including a dull or uneven complexion or scaly skin. They may also have dry or sunken eyes.

Water accounts for about 30% of the skin by weight, so when we’re dehydrated, our skin suffers. Dehydration diminishes skin turgor, or elasticity. That’s why one simple test for dehydration is to pinch the skin on the back of the hand. If your child is dehydrated, the skin will be slow to snap back into place.

2. Fatigue and Crankiness

Dehydration is the number one cause of mid-day fatigue in adults, and for children, the effects are just the same. Irritability, fussiness, and fatigue in children have all been linked to dehydration. In addition, young children may experience dizziness or lightheadedness when dehydrated.

In fact, the effect of dehydration on kids’ cognitive abilities has been widely studied. The results: Dehydration can cause lethargy, confusion, and significant cognitive impairment. On the other hand, drinking water with electrolytes can positively affect kids’ moods.

3. Headaches

Water-deprivation headaches, also known as dehydration headaches, are very common. Although their origin is not entirely known, it’s been hypothesized that dehydration causes intracranial dehydration and lowered blood volume.

When your child doesn’t get enough water and electrolytes, their blood pressure drops and there is less fluid to transport nutrients to the brain and organs. Brain matter shrinks and pulls away from your child’s skull, causing a throbbing headache.

The good news is that water and electrolytes may provide fast relief. One study showed that drinking water provided relief to individuals who were suffering from water-deprivation headaches within 30 minutes to 3 hours. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium also help to support brain health and can increase water retention in children.

4. Salt Craving

Dehydration isn’t just about lost fluids and water in the body. It also occurs when you or your child loses electrolytes and salt. Thus, just like the body’s natural thirst response, a craving for salt can indicate we’re low in electrolytes.

That’s why sports drinks and oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS contain electrolytes. However, oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS are more effective at combating dehydration compared to sports drinks and fruit juices. That’s because sports drinks and juices don’t contain a precise balance of electrolytes to tackle dehydration, and they often contain more sugar than necessary.

DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards because of its delicious taste, giving you a medically viable ORS that also tastes great. By comparison, sports drinks contain about one-third the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS and twice as much sugar.

5. Bad Breath

Dehydration can cause us to produce less saliva than we need. Saliva serves an important purpose: It’s a natural cleanser of the mouth and teeth. When dehydration sets in and your child isn’t producing enough saliva, bacteria are more likely to grow in the mouth. Bacterial overgrowth, in turn, is a leading cause of bad breath. If your child experiences bad breath even after brushing and flossing, they may be dehydrated.

6. Sunken Soft Spot

The soft spot on an infant’s head, also known as a fontanelle, may appear sunken if your child is dehydrated or if they’re suffering from malnutrition. If your child has a sunken fontanelle and also displays signs such as headache, dry mouth, and rapid heart rate, he or she may be dehydrated. Infant dehydration, especially severe dehydration, can be dangerous and life-threatening. If you think your infant is dehydrated, seek medical advice from your pediatrician or another available qualified healthcare professional as soon as possible.

7. Decreased Urination

One of the main signs of dehydration in kids is decreased urine output. When dehydration sets in, your body responds by trying to retain as much water and electrolytes as possible. To do this, your body stops producing as much urine. If you notice your infant hasn't urinated or had a wet diaper for a few hours, dehydration may be the cause. Older children may produce dark-colored urine, another common sign of dehydration in kids.

8. Crying With Few or No Tears

Another way your body tries to conserve fluids is by reducing tear production. That’s because your body prioritizes using existing fluid for essential processes, and tears don’t fall into that category. If your child is dehydrated, he or she may cry without producing any tears or complain of dry eyes.

How To Manage Dehydration in Kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using an oral rehydration solution to remedy dehydration in kids. Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to address mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting without the need for costly and painful IV therapy or emergency medical care. Note: Severe cases of dehydration may require hospitalization.

It can be hard to get kids to stay hydrated, especially if they don’t enjoy the taste of plain water or traditional oral rehydration solutions that can be super salty.

That’s where DripDrop ORS can help. DripDrop ORS was invented by Doctor Eduardo Dolhun specifically to address ORS non-compliance for children suffering from life-threatening dehydration in impoverished areas. When he saw children spitting up the very remedy that could save their lives, he set out to create an ORS that tasted so good even children would love it.

DripDrop ORS comes in an array of 8 juicy, delicious flavors that children are sure to love. With flavors like watermelon and berry, your child will feel like drinking ORS is a treat — plus it’s good for them!

While hydration and drinking plenty of fluids should be a daily consideration, it’s important to close attention and watch for dehydration when temperatures rise. Fluid intake is particularly important for children in hot weather because sweating can exacerbate the problem.

When your child sweats, water and electrolytes rise to the surface of the skin. There, it evaporates creating a cooling effect. The fluid loss caused by sweating can result in dehydration if your child isn’t drinking enough water and electrolytes.

So, make sure to offer your child an oral rehydration solution throughout the day, whether they’re sweating from cold and flu fever or wearing extra layers of clothing while playing outside in the snow and cooler temps.

Manage Dehydration in Kids With DripDrop ORS

For cases of mild to moderate dehydration in children, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy your whole family will love. With convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.

When your child is in a state of dehydration, water alone is not enough. Children need the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio, you can replenish vital electrolytes and body fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium which are essential for a child’s overall health.

Our patented formula is powerful enough to help children suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing, and comes in a variety of flavors children will love hot or cold. Check out our blog for more tips on how to keep the whole family safe when it comes to managing dehydration.

Get started with our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase when you subscribe.