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Dehydration in Children (cont.)

What is the treatment for dehydration in children?

Patient Comments

Dehydration in children can be treated at home by replacing fluids with drinks such as Pedialyte, Pedialyte freezer pops, or any product similar that is designed to replace sugar and electrolytes. Children should take small sips every few moments. A BRAT diet may be started if vomiting has subsided for four hours. Medical treatment may include rehydration via an IV solution.

What are the home remedies for dehydration in children?

Most children become dehydrated because of diarrhea or vomiting caused by a viral infection. The way to help a dehydrated child is to give plenty of fluids while the child is ill. This is called fluid replacement.

  • Suitable fluid replacement for children are called "oral rehydration solutions," or ORS and include Pedialyte, Rehydralyte, Pedialyte freezer pops, or any similar product designed to replace fluids, sugar, and electrolytes (dissolved minerals such as sodium, potassium, and chloride). You can buy these products at most large grocery and drug stores.
  • For bottle-fed infants, offer ORS if the child has vomited two or more times. Offer ORS for 8 hours. If child has vomited one or two times, offer half-strength formula for two feedings, and then regular formula.
  • For breast-fed infants, reduce the amount per feeding. If the child vomits twice, nurse one side every one to two hours. If the child vomits more than two times, nurse four to five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes. If the child continues to vomit, switch to ORS for 4 hours. Spoon- or syringe-feed small amounts of ORS: one to two teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) every five minutes.
  • Children older than one year may be given small amounts of clear fluids for eight hours. Flat soda (soft drinks that are opened then shaken to lose their fizz), Gatorade, water-based soups, popsicles and ORS may be given for vomiting with diarrhea. Water or ice chips may be used with vomiting alone. Give small amounts (1 tbsp.) ever five minutes. After four hours without vomiting, double the amount. After eight hours without vomiting, add solids.
  • Although it may seem that your child is vomiting all that is given, usually an adequate amount of fluid is kept down.
  • Limit solids to bland foods (any complex carbohydrates) for 24 hours.
  • Start with saltine crachers, white bread, rice, dried cereals, etc.
  • The child may resume normal diet in 24 to 48 hours.
  • Discontinue all non-essential medications for eight hours.
  • Consider acetaminophen suppositories if the fever really needs medication.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017

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Dehydration in Children - Symptoms

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Dehydration »

Dehydration describes a state of negative fluid balance that may be caused by numerous disease entities.

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