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During times of illness, babies and children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults. It’s important to recognise the signs.

Did you know that children have more water in their body than adults? An infant’s body is made up of around 70% water, compared to 60% for adults. And they can lose this water at a much faster rate – particularly if they are unwell.

While Hydralyte can help manage dehydration in children, you should seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

An oral rehydration solution is an effective way to help manage mild dehydration in children.

Why are children at increased risk of dehydration?

There are two key reasons why children are more at risk of dehydration. The first is simply that they have a faster metabolism. Plus, they have a greater skin surface area to body weight ratio – they lose more fluids in sweat.

Children can become dehydrated following vomiting or diarrhoea, fever or exercise. Or, if they are generally feeling unwell, they may not drink enough fluids.

Babies and toddlers are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated than older children.

Signs of dehydration in children

Your baby or toddler won’t be able to tell you that they feel dehydrated. Signs to look out for include things like dark yellow urine, fewer wet nappies or dry lips. Other symptoms of mild dehydration include nausea and dizziness.

Seek medical advice if vomiting or diarrhoea persists for more than:

  • 6 hours in infants under 6 months
  • 12 hours in children under 3 years
  • 24 hours in children aged 3-6 years
  • 48 hours in children over 6 years and adults

How to manage dehydration in children

Mild dehydration in children can be managed by providing an oral rehydration solution such as Hydralyte. For infants, Hydralyte can be given between breastfeeds via a syringe or bottle.

For older children, an oral rehydration solution like Hydralyte is a fast and effective way to rehydrate. Hydralyte is scientifically formulated to contain the correct balance of glucose and electrolytes for rapid rehydration. The formulation is based on the World Health Organisation criteria for effective rehydration. Water alone, or sugary drinks, are not as effective as Hydralyte.

To keep track of the volume of fluids going in and out, download our oral fluid intake chart.

If symptoms persist seek medical advice.

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