Dehydration caused by diarrhoea is one of the biggest single killers of children in the modern world and diarrhoea itself is one of the major causes of nutritional loss and poor growth.[1]

Summary

To prevent too much liquid being lost from the child's body, an effective oral rehydration solution can be made using ingredients found in almost every household.[2]

Oral rehydration therapy is used to treat dehydration caused by diarrhoea. This is important as it is the most dangerous aspect of the illness. Oral rehydration therapy keeps people alive through serious diarrhea, until the infection passes.

However standard ORT does not reduce stool output or length of illness. Research has been carried out on methods to reduce stool formation. This would be valuable as it means less fluids are lost in the first place and the exhausting effects of the illnesses may decrease,[verification needed] and it could reduce the tendency for parents to withhold ORT from a child to stop them defecating as much:[3]

Developers

  • The Rehydration Project
  • M. Kassaye, C. Larson and D. Carlson Department of Community Health, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Notes

  1. http://www.rehydrate.org
  2. http://www.rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm
  3. It is better to drink ORS and expel most of it again, rather than not to drink it. However the carer may not be aware of this, or they may want to avoid the trouble and expense of changing nappies or clothing - especially an issue if exhausted from caring for the child and/or unable to afford disposable nappies.

Recipes/composition

The simplest version is 8 level teaspoons sugar and 1 level teaspoon salt in a liter of clean drinking water.

Half cup of orange juice or half of a mashed banana may be added.

See also

External links

References and more information

Water topics (Category)
Beyond dams
Clean water
Conservation
Developing countries
Distribution
Groundwater
Hydroelectricity
Mosquito control
Oral rehydration

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