This happens frequently. I have 10 square zone of water source outside. 100+ units of booze.

How can I stop this from happening?

  • How old are they? Are their parents okay? – Ullallulloo Jan 16 '14 at 4:33
  • I didn't check on their parents. Do children need their parents to give them food/beverage? The parents are very busy. – deco801 Jan 16 '14 at 4:39
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    Infants need their parents to feed them. I think older children can feed themselves. – Ullallulloo Jan 16 '14 at 4:42

Babies need their mother to carry and nurse them, and so will die if she is hospitalized or unconscious for too long - keep women (or mothers of infants, if you can be bothered with the micromanagement) out of hazardous professions like the military, mining and, to a lesser extent, masonry if you wish to avoid infant deaths. Children, on the other hand, can eat and drink for themselves. Unless you happened to assign all of the children to a separate sleeping wing and "accidentally" wall them in, there should be no reason for children to die of hunger or thirst except famine and drought.

Keep in mind that children don't actually serve a purpose besides slight happiness boosts to the parents (nothing a grand dining room won't exceed a dozen times over), pulling levers and deconstructing constructions; coupled with the fact that your fortress will probably crumble or become boring before they become teens this makes them very disposable indeed.

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    Dwarven mothers make the best soldiers. They carry their babies into battle and use them as armour. – Studoku Jan 16 '14 at 11:17
  • @studoku I prefer to remove them of their kin early on so that my soldiers arent attached to anyone. Danger rooms seem to work well, then after a good slaughter they are usually happy again. – Paralytic Jan 16 '14 at 17:37
  • @Paralytic Yeah, dwarf females are bad ass! :D – Madmenyo Jan 17 '14 at 19:04

Other then Kotezot mentioned you might need to designate burrows for them. Burrows prevent children (and other bored dwarfs) from walking off to dangerous places where they can have fun with wildlife or goblin snatchers. Obviously you need to include food and water in the burrow (children do not drink alcohol, this causes brain damage).

If your water source is far away you might want to make a reservoir for your fortress. I usually do this within the first year so i have safe access to water and can setup wells. I end up with a huge network of water canals below my fort. And have a well on most corners of my fort for the happy thoughts, nurturing, cleaning and a clean water source.

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