Fluid and electrolyte abnormalities are among the most common problems confronting physicians who care for children. This is primarily due to the high incidence of gastroenteritis in the pediatric population, and the vulnerability of children to the loss of water and solutes. In poor countries, diarrheal diseases are common causes of infant death. In the United States, they often result in prolonged emergency department stays and hospitalization. Electrolyte abnormalities are most commonly secondary to fluid imbalances.

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