Evaluation and Management of Dehydration in Children

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2018 May;36(2):259-273. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2017.12.004. Epub 2018 Feb 10.


The article discusses the evaluation of dehydration in children and reviews the literature on physical findings of dehydration. Pediatric dehydration is a common problem in emergency departments and wide practice variation in treatment exists. Dehydration can be treated with oral, nasogastric, subcutaneous, or intravenous fluids. Although oral rehydration is underutilized in the United States, most children with dehydration can be successfully rehydrated via the oral route. Selection of oral rehydration solution and techniques for successful oral rehydration are presented. Appropriate selection and rate of administration of intravenous fluids are also discussed for isonatremic, hyponatremic, and hypernatremic dehydration.

Keywords: Dehydration; Fluid bolus; Hypernatremia; Hyponatremia; Intravenous fluid; Oral rehydration; Subcutaneous rehydration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Child
  • Dehydration / diagnosis
  • Dehydration / therapy*
  • Fluid Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypokalemia / prevention & control
  • Isotonic Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine / methods*


  • Isotonic Solutions