Oral Rehydration Solutions: Made at Home
The most effective, least expensive way to manage diarrhoeal dehydration
The "Simple Solution" Do-It-Yourself .... Encouraging self-reliance
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|Give the child a drink made with 6 level teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 litre of clean water. Be very careful to mix the correct amounts. Too much sugar can make the diarrhoea worse. Too much salt can be extremely harmful to the child. Making the mixture a little too diluted (with more than 1 litre of clean water) is not harmful.|
Diarrhoea usually cures itself in three to four days with rehydration (drinking a lot of liquids). The real danger is the loss of liquid and
nutrients from the child's body, which can cause dehydration and malnutrition.
A child with diarrhoea should never be given any tablets, antibiotics or other medicines unless prescribed by a trained health worker.
The best treatment for diarrhoea is to (1) drink lots of liquids and oral rehydration salts (ORS), properly mixed with clean water from a safe source, and (2) take zinc tablets or syrup for 10–14 days.
|What is ORS?||ORS (oral rehydration salts) is a special combination of dry salts that is mixed with safe water. It can help replace the fluids lost due to diarrhoea.|
|When should ORS be used?||When a child has three or more loose stools in a day, begin to give ORS. In addition, for 10–14 days, give children over 6 months of age 20 milligrams of zinc per day (tablet or syrup); give children under 6 months of age 10 milligrams per day (tablet or syrup).|
|Where can ORS be obtained?||In most countries, ORS packets are available from health centres, pharmacies, markets and shops.|
|How is the ORS drink prepared?||
|How much ORS drink to give?||
Encourage the child to drink as much as possible.
A child under the age of 2 years needs at least 1/4 to 1/2 of a large (250-millilitre) cup of the ORS drink after each watery stool.
A child aged 2 years or older needs at least 1/2 to 1 whole large (250-millilitre) cup of the ORS drink after each watery stool.
|What if ORS is not available?||
Give the child a drink made with 6 level teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 level teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 litre of clean water.
Be very careful to mix the correct amounts. Too much sugar can make the diarrhoea worse. Too much salt can be extremely harmful to the child.
Making the mixture a little too diluted (with more than 1 litre of clean water) is not harmful.
Diarrhoea usually stops in three or four days.
If it does not stop, consult a trained health worker.
» Download and Print Instructions: Home made Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) for treating dehydration caused by diarrhoea
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. One of these drinks should be given to the child every time a
watery stool is passed.
Ideally these drinks (preferably those that have been boiled) should contain:
The following traditional remedies make highly effective oral rehydration solutions and are suitable drinks to prevent a child from losing too much liquid during diarrhoea:
A very suitable and effective simple solution for
rehydrating a child can also be made by using salt and sugar, if these
ingredients are available.
If possible, add 1/2 cup orange juice or some mashed banana to improve the taste and provide some potassium.
Molasses and other forms of raw sugar can be used instead of white sugar, and these contain more potassium than white sugar.
If none of these drinks is available, other alternatives are:
If nothing else is available, give
Thanks to Charles R. Staubs, D.O. and Jean Michelet
The "Simple Solution" - Home made Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) Recipe
Preparing 1 (one) Litre solution using Salt, Sugar and Water at Home Mix an oral rehydration solution using the following recipe. Ingredients:
|An efficient and effective homemade remedy to be used when watery diarrhea strikes and is a good substitute for oral rehydration salts:
Questions on Solutions made at Home
Q. How do I measure the Salt and Sugar? Different countries and different communities use various methods for measuring the salt and sugar.
Whatever method is used, people need to be carefully instructed in how to mix and use the solutions. Do not use too much salt. If the solution has too much salt the child may refuse to drink
it. Also, too much salt can, in extreme cases, cause convulsions. Too little salt
does no harm but is less effective in preventing dehydration. A rough guide to the amount of salt is that the solution should taste no saltier than tears.
For Severe Dehydration: Drink sips of the ORS (or give the ORS solution to the conscious dehydrated person) every
5 minutes until urination becomes normal. (It's normal to urinate four or five times a day.)
The drink should be given from a cup (feeding bottles are
difficult to clean properly). Remember to feed sips of the liquid slowly.
updated: 4 July, 2014