A 2015 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has found that more than half of American children are dehydrated. The research analyzed data from the 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for children 6 to 19 years old. The study also found that boys have a 76 percent greater likelihood of being dehydrated, and African-Americans were 34 percent more likely to not drink enough water compared with U.S. Caucasians.
“Dehydration accounts for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations each year due to a number of illnesses that can lead to depletion of fluids and electrolytes from the body,” says Dr. Daniel Rauch, associate professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City.
It can be difficult for parents to gauge the level of hydration in children. Researchers from the University of Arkansas have determined that urine color provides a reliable indicator of hydration levels, with darker urine indicating increasing levels of dehydration.