Excessive Thirst in Toddlers

by Brandy Burgess, Demand Media
    Excessive thirst in toddlers can have many causes.

    Excessive thirst in toddlers can have many causes.

    Excessive thirst in toddlers can be a result of several possible diseases and conditions. Parents often hear the occasional “Mom, I’m SO thirsty!” or the more dramatic “Dad, my mouth is drier than a desert!” Toddlers who drink in excessive amounts can have health conditions such as dehydration and diabetes, and in more serious cases, liver disease. While you’re waiting to hear back from your child’s pediatrician about your concerns, to learn about the various causes of excessive thirst in toddlers.

    Diabetes Mellitus

    Diabetes mellitus is better known as type 1 diabetes, which is caused when the body does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, increased thirst is a common symptom of diabetes. Dehydration is also a symptom of diabetes mellitus, which can also result in excessive thirst. A regulated insulin regimen created by your child’s physician can help keep your tot in tip-top shape.

    Diabetes Insipidus

    Diabetes insipidus is rarer than type 1 diabetes, but can cause toddlers to become irritable and fatigued, and experience vomiting or diarrhea. According to John Hopkins Children Center, increased thirst is also a major identifying factor of the disease. Parents might notice when their child is not being the active little terror that they love, but showing symptoms such as dizziness, dry mouth, muscle weakness, fever or rapid heart-beat. If your child shows these signs, contact your child’s pediatrician.

    Liver Disease

    As the largest organ inside the body, the liver is essential to removing waste products from the blood and detoxifying the substances you eat, the air you breathe and anything absorbed through the skin. One of the most common symptoms of chronic liver disease is polydipsia, or excessive thirst. Children who suffer from liver disease might also experience frequent urination, jaundice, dizziness, headaches and allergies. Before jumping to conclusions about your toddler’s odd symptom, consult your child’s pediatrician.


    One common cause of excessive thirst in young children is dehydration, but that's only an indicator of dehydration and not an early warning sign. Toddlers might experience other symptoms before becoming excessively thirsty such as dizziness or lightheadedness, a dry or sticky mouth, or dark or infrequent urination. Parents can easily prevent dehydration in their toddlers by supplying them with plenty of cool fluids, especially on those hot summer days.

    About the Author

    Based in northern New York, Brandy Burgess has been writing on pets, technical documentation and health resources since 2007. She also writes on personal development for YourFreelanceWritingCareer.com. Burgess' work also has appeared on various online publications, including eHow.com. Burgess holds a Bachelor of Arts in computer information systems from DeVry University and her certified nurses aid certification.

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