Can I give oral rehydration therapy to my child?

Diji Vaughan
Oral rehydration salts when constituted into solutions appropriately according to manufacturer's recommendations are safe for use in Children. The vast majority of cases of diarrhea and related fluid losses through the gut are managed successfully using oral rehydration therapy  especially in the developing parts of the world. The constitution of oral rehydration salts can vary slightly from one geographic region of the world to another. Parts of the world where cases of dehydration in patients from increased fluid losses from the gut tend to present later than a similar case would in North America for example, would have a oral rehydration salt composition prepared to accommodate some of the body fluid changes needing correction that occur around the third day of illness, which may not be ideal for someone having same set of symptoms but presenting much earlier in the course of the illness. Varying ratios of table salt & Sugar with clean potable water have been used successfully to create oral rehydration solutions. Small frequent administrations depending on the age of the child lead to better tolerance. If volume of losses via diarrhea or oral intolerance seem to outpace ability to replace orally with rehydration solution, then there would be a need for further medical evaluation and possible intravenous fluid administration.

You can give oral rehydration therapy to young children and infants if they are getting dehydrated due to diarrhea. At the first sign of diarrhea, be sure to give your child fluids in an amount equal to the volume lost. Electrolytes need to be replaced in addition to water. Oral rehydration therapy replaces both. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.