Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration in an 18-Month-Old

Dehydration is a condition that develops when bodily fluids are depleted because of vomiting, diarrhea, high fever or excessive sweating. Children, especially toddlers, are more susceptible to dehydration because their bodies weigh less and turn over water more quickly than adults do. In most cases, dehydration can be treated by offering your child fluids frequently when he is sick. When a child is very ill and cannot keep fluids down, hospitalization may be necessary so she can receive fluids intravenously. At it's most severe, dehydration can be a life-threatening condition.

Dry Diapers

Dehydration is sometimes easier to detect in babies and toddlers who still wear diapers because wet diapers are a sign of proper hydration. If your child has not produced a wet diaper in six to eight hours, it is a sign he is dehydrated. A diaper containing a small amount of very dark urine is also a sign of dehydration.

Lack of Tears

Babies and toddlers often cry when they are sick and uncomfortable, but crying with few if any tears is a sign they are dehydrated. Her eyes may also appear sunken.

Dry Mouth

A baby who is dehydrated may have a dry mouth or it may appear sticky because saliva production has decreased.

Other Symptoms

Young children who are dehydrated can be irritable, lethargic and less active and playful than usual. The skin may be dry and cool to the touch. In younger babies who still have a soft spot on their skull, this can appear sunken in.