Diarrhea and vomiting in infant and toddlers is common. Restless mothers ask me to prescribe medicine, for their baby’s instant relief. But I suggest them life saver ORS. Homeopathy, Allopathic or Ayurved, whatever you prefer for your little one, in the case of dehydration ORS is suggested.
ORS or oral rehydration solution is a mixture of water, salt and sugar in specific amounts. Even if your child is vomiting or has severe diarrhea these solutions are absorbed. ORS is cheapest and most effective way to manage diarrhea and to prevent and manage dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Vomiting and diarrhea usually do not last for long. In most of the cases, diarrhea cures itself in 3 to 4 days with rehydration. In case of stomach infection, through vomiting and diarrhea, the body tries to get rid of the infection. Prescribing a medicine to stop vomiting and loose motions, may hinder body’s efforts to heal it. The main culprit which may lead to a fatal condition is dehydration, so it is important to prevent or restore the fluids, electrolytes and nutrient loss. The best treatment for dehydration is ORS along with zinc supplements for 10 to 14 days.
Sodium chloride (NaCl) -3.5gms, Glucose – 20gms, Potassium chloride (KCL) -2.5gms, Sodium Bicarbonate – 2.5gms
When to use-
Give ORS to your small ones when he/she passes three or more stools a day. Or have several bouts of vomiting a day. ORS is also given in dehydration due to exposure or too strong dry summer winds or Reduce urination, 0-1 pee in 12 hours.
In ready to serve preparations, ORS is available at every medical shop.
Wash your hand with soap and treated (water boiled and then cooled down to normal temperature) water. Wash container and stirrer with soap and treated water. Put one liter of treated water in a clean container. Empty ORS powder in water. Stir the solution. Keep in cool place. Small packets of ORS are also available, so it is better to check the packet for direction and add the correct amount of water. Keep in mind little water than prescribed may worsen diarrhea. Never mix ORS to milk, soft drink or fruit juice. Remember not to add sugar to the prepared solution.
How much to give-
For a child under the age of 2 years, 75ml 125 ml after each watery stool. For child above 2 years, 125 ml to 250 ml after each watery stool. In the case of vomiting, give small amounts, say 1 to 2 teaspoon every 10 minutes. If the child is able to keep the drink gradually increase the amount. In case, the child vomits as soon as ORS is given wait for 30 to 60 minutes and again give few sips. Use ORS solution within 24 hours of preparation.
ORS can be easily prepared at home following simple steps-
Wash your hand with soap and water. Take a clean pitcher filled with 1 liter water which has been boiled and then cooled to normal temperature. Add half teaspoon common salt and 2 teaspoon sugar Mix the ingredients and store n cool place. Give 3-4 tablespoon of ORS several times to the baby.
Always keep in mind-
Do not give medicine for diarrhea and vomiting without consulting your child’s pediatrician. If diarrhea continues even after 3 to 4 days, consult a pediatrician. If vomiting does not stop and the child is unable even to hold ORS call doctor.
If you see following signs of dehydration, call the doctor-
Decreased urination- less than 1 pee in 12hours. Sunken eyes. Dry skin, mouth and tongue. Increased thirst.
ORS is not medicine, it is rehydrating solution. Continue ORS for 12 to 14 days, even after loose motions and vomiting stops for complete restoration of body fluid and electrolytes.