Infants and children who appear to be malnourished are at significant risk of complications of diarrhea and dehydration and should be admitted to the hospital. In addition, high-risk social situations should be identified and consideration given to admitting such children. These situations include the single, often teenage, parent who is without an intact support system, or parents/caregivers who are homeless or unable to provide appropriate fluids to the child. Special consideration must also be given to chronically ill infants who develop acute diarrhea or severely handicapped, developmentally delayed children in whom it is difficult to provide oral fluids.
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