Dehydration means your body loses more fluids than you take in. If it's not treated, it can get worse and become a serious problem.
Babies, children and the elderly are more at risk of dehydration.
Check if you're dehydrated
Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:
Dehydration can happen more easily if you have:
How you can reduce the risk of dehydration
Drink fluids when you feel any dehydration symptoms.
If you find it hard to drink because you feel sick or have been sick, start with small sips and then gradually drink more.
You can use a spoon to make it easier for your child to swallow the fluids.
You should drink enough during the day so your pee is a pale clear colour.
Drink when there's a higher risk of dehydrating. For example, if you're vomiting, sweating or you have diarrhoea.
How to prevent dehydration
Dehydration means your body loses more fluids than you take in. If it isn’t treated it can get worse and become a serious problem.
Carers: making sure someone drinks enough
Sometimes people you care for do not have a sense of how much they're drinking.
To help them:
A pharmacist can help with dehydration
If you're being sick or have diarrhoea and are losing too much fluid, you need to put back the sugar, salts and minerals that your body has lost.
Your pharmacist can recommend oral rehydration sachets. These are powders that you mix with water and then drink.
Ask your pharmacist which ones are right for you or your child.
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
These can be signs of serious dehydration that need urgent treatment.
Under-5s with dehydration
The under-5s should get plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
It's quite common for young children to become dehydrated. It can be serious if it's not dealt with quickly.
Take your baby or child to the GP urgently or go to A&E if they:
Once the dehydration has been treated, your child will need to maintain their fluid levels.
GPs usually advise: