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Rehydration Solution for Children With Diarrhea

Updated on April 1, 2015

Children are especially susceptible to dehydration when ill. If a child has fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, he or she can quickly become dehydrated especially if he or she is not drinking. It is important to rehydrate children with fluids AND with electrolytes (salt, sodium bicarb, etc). It is important to recognize dehydration in your child and when you need to go to the Doctor or ER.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Decreased urinary frequency or fewer wet diapers.
  • Sunken soft spot (fontanel) in babies
  • No tears when child cries
  • Dry or sticky mouth or tongue
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability (crying, fussiness)

When to seek medical care:

  • Dry mouth or dry eyes
  • Little to no urine output in 8 hours
  • Sunken eyes
  • Crying without tears
  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting for > 24 hours (or green vomit)
  • Child lethargic or difficult to awaken
  • Fever > 103 oF

If your child is becoming dehydrated but does not yet need to go to the doctor (or you have been instructed to encourage fluids - i.e. Pedialyte), you may use the rehydration solution below. This solution should be given by the teaspoonful for children that are already dehydrated. If the child vomits, he should be given another teaspoonful.

Home-Made Oral Rehydration Solution:

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

8 tsp. sugar
8 oz. orange juice
1 L water

This solution does not stop diarrhea. This solution will keep a child rehydrated while the diarrhea resolves on its own.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be used in place of the advice of a medical professional.


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