Know When You’re Dehydrated

You don’t have to be running a marathon to get dehydrated. It can happen to anyone, and it’s important to know the signs and symptoms so you can stay hydrated and healthy.

Being thirsty isn’t the most reliable sign that your body needs water, according to the Mayo Clinic. The organization notes that different age groups have different signs and symptoms.

Babies/young children

  • Irritability or listlessness
  • Dry tongue and mouth
  • Sunken cheeks and eyes
  • Soft sunken spot on top of child's skull
  • Crying without any tears
  • No wet diapers for three hours


  • Extreme thirst
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Dark-colored urine

The Mayo Clinic warns that older people, in particular, don’t get thirsty until they’re already dehydrated. So it’s vital to increase your water intake when you’re sick or when it’s hot outside. Call your health care provider if you or a family member have these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea for 24 hours or longer
  • Inability to keep down fluids
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Being irritable or disoriented
  • Being sleepier or less active than usual