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Frequently Asked Questions

What if symptoms of dehydration begin to appear?

The child should be taken quickly to the nearest health post, or station where prepacked ORS is available. The trained health worker will then show the parents how to mix ORS and supervise giving it. The health worker should also be able to assess a child who is severely dehydrated who needs hospital treatment (including IV if necessary). During the time before the complete ORS can be started the home-prepared solution should continue to be given. In the unfortunate event that complete formula ORS is unavailable the home-prepared solution will have to be used instead BUT it is not as effective for the TREATMENT of dehydration. Only in a minority of countries, such as some of the more affluent ones and some other mostly fairly small countries with easy communications, is prepacked ORS recommended as the exclusive treatment both for preventive, first-line treatment in the hoe and for treatment of dehydration. In most countries, home-prepared solutions are the recommendation for prevention and complete formula ORS for treatment, as described here.

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updated: 23 August, 2019