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What medical problems may increase the risk of dehydration in children?

Various medical problems may increase the risk of dehydration in children. If your child has an infection, he is at greater risk of dehydration. He may not want to eat or drink much. Having a fever makes him sweat more, losing water through his skin. If he throws up, he loses water in the vomit. If he has loose stools, he loses water in his stools. Gastroenteritis is a stomach and bowel infection. It is the most common cause of dehydration in children. Lung infections, including colds, flu, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, also can cause dehydration. Other medical conditions that increase the risk of a child getting dehydrated include:

  • Diabetes or heart problems: Diabetes and heart development problems cause increased sweating and greater fluid loss.
  • Pyloric stenosis: Pyloric stenosis causes narrowing where the stomach connects to the intestine. This condition causes vomiting.
  • Mouth sores: Mouth sores can cause pain with eating and drinking. A child with mouth sores may not want to eat or drink.
  • Cystic fibrosis: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder. Children with CF may not know when they are thirsty, so they may not drink enough liquid.
  • Meningitis: Meningitis is an infection of the tissue layer that covers the brain and spinal cord. This condition causes fever and vomiting.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.