- Prevention of dehydration – Home management
- Treatment of dehydration – Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
- A diarrheal illness of short duration and “some dehydration” can be managed at home with home available fluids and ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution)
- “Severe dehydration” needs hospitalization and treatment with intravenous fluids.
Prevention of nutritional damage
- Nutritional damage can be prevented by proper diet :
- Sufficient nutrients are required to support growth and weight gain.
- Good nutrition speeds the recovery of intestinal function.
- Breast feeding should be continued in case of a breast fed baby.
- Feeds should never be withheld and child’s usual feeds should not be diluted.
- Frequent small feedings are tolerated better.
- Avoid fried, greasy foods and strong tea and coffee.
Home management of diarrhea
- Drink plenty of fluids (as much as you can take comfortably)
- Children need to be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids.
- Small sips of liquids should be given frequently to avoid provocation of vomiting.
- Home made fluids are sufficient when dehydration is not evident. e.g. home made fruit juices, lemon water, soups, rice water, coconut water, yogurt drink, etc.
- An electrolyte solution called ORS (oral rehydration solution) is very useful for prevention and correction of dehydration due to diarrhea. The sachets of ORS are freely available at all chemist shops and health institutes.
- If the child is breast fed, nursing should be pursued.
- Foods that are spicy, fried or greasy should be avoided.
- Limit coffee, strong tea and soda beverages.
- Watch out for signs of dehydration.