Definition of Dehydration in Children:
Dehydration is defined as excessive loss of body water. In physiology, dehydration is a deficit of total body water with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes.
Classification or Types of Dehydration in Children:
- No signs of dehydration,
- Some dehydration,
- Severe dehydration.
Assessment Strategy or Sign and Symptoms of Severe Dehydration in Children:
No signs of dehydration
Look at condition
Lethargic or unconscious, floppy
Very sunken and dry
Mouth and tongue
Drinks normally, not thirsty
Thirsty, drinks eagerly
Drinks poorly or unable to drink
Feel: Skin pinch
Goes back quickly
Goes back slowly
Goes back very slowly
The patient has no
If the patient has two
If the patient has two
Management of Severe Dehydration in Children:
Measures Should Be Taken In Various Degree Of Dehydration:
1. Measure should be taken for no sign of dehydration: Patient first seen with no signs of dehydration can be treated at home:
a. ORS packets should be given at home for 2 days,
b. Demonstration how to prepare and give solution,
c. After each loose stool the mother should give the following amount of ORS to her child.
Amount of ORS
Less than 2 years
> 10 years
As much as wanted
2. Home Management:
a. Give more fluid than usual,
b. Give more food than usual.
c. Minimum one extra meal for two weeks.
d. Referral knowledge.
- If not improved within 3 days,
- More loose motion,
- Increased vomiting,
- Depressed anterior fontanels,
- Unable to drink or food,
- Visible blood in stool,
Instruction to the mother of patient to return if any sign (above) develop.
3. Measure should be taken for some sign of dehydration: Rehydration therapy:
ORS 75 ml/kg within 4 hours irrespective of age. Reassess after 4 hours. If improved then treated as no sign of dehydration if not, referred to the hospital.
4. Measure should be taken for severe dehydration:
In severe dehydration, patient should be rehydrated by intravenous (TV) fluid such as cholera saline as follows:
1st give 30 ml/kg
Then give 70 ml/kg
Infants (<12 months)
Older (> 12 months)
More questions related to this article:
- What do you mean by dehydration?
- What are the types of dehydration?
- What is the classification of dehydration?
- How will you assess dehydration status of a child?
- How will you assess dehydration status of a patient with diarrhea?
- Mention the assessment strategy of severe dehydration.
- What are the sign and symptoms of dehydration?
- Discuss the management of severe dehydration.
- How will you manage a child with some dehydration?
- How will you manage a child having diarrhea with severe dehydration?
- A two years boy presented with acute watery diarrhea for 2 days. How will you assess his dehydration status and how can you manage a child with some dehydration?
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”