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World ORS Day: How ORS Helps Dehydration in Children - Rainbow Hospitals

ORS can go a long way in minimizing the effects of severe childhood diarrhea. Here’s all you need to know about this make-at-home miracle solution Runny poop, sleepless nights and an all-around exhausted kiddo—the hellish trappings of diarrhea. But wait, there’s more. As per the World Health Organization, acute diarrhea is the second leading cause of death worldwide in children under five. In India, it is the third leading cause of death, while contributing to 13% of childhood deaths globally. Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) therapy is an easy, economical medical protocol that saves up to 5 Lakh lives in India each year. If you’re not familiar with the technique, get acquainted this World Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) Day (observed annually on 29th July). This simple water-based solution can be a game changer in shielding your child from severe dehydration caused by diarrhea, heat stroke and other similar conditions. Understanding dehydration 75% of the human body is composed of water, so it’s easy to see why water is so critical for child nutrition and healthy body functioning. Breathing, sweating and urinating all involve water loss, and replenishing these reserves is essential for survival. It’s when this water is lost at a faster rate than it is replenished, and dehydration occurs. Here’s a spotlight on its triggers and symptoms. Triggers Sweating Diabetes Diarrhea Inability to retain fluids Vomiting

Classic symptoms

Excessive thirst

Reduced frequency of urination Darker urine

Serious symptoms Dry lips Muscle cramps Dizziness Palpitations

The value of ORS

Left unchecked, diarrhea can get a lot more serious than just loose stools; which begs the question—what causes it? Poor hygiene and sanitation are usually to blame, but with quick intervention, its effects, and the risk of dehydration and fluid loss, can be effectively mitigated with ORS therapy. As a simple combination of sugar and salt, ORS is a potent mixture that restores the water and electrolytes lost from the body, promotes electrolyte and water absorption, and helps maintain hydration. How to make ORS at home Although you can purchase ORS over the counter at any pharmacy, you can also elect to make it at home with only a handful of ingredients. Simply: Add a teaspoon of sugar and a sprinkle of salt to 200 ml of drinking water Stir properly to ensure that the sugar and salt dissolve completely

How to administer ORS therapy on children When feeding your child, use a spoon and cup; bottle feeding ORS is not recommended Avoid substituting water with milk, juices, soups and other liquids Avoid adding surplus salt or sugar to the formula It is advisable to prepare a fresh solution each time and discard it after use; storing it overnight may lead to contamination ORS is an effective first response plan for diarrhea. If your child has frequent bouts of diarrhea, or has had an acute prior episode, it’s worth speaking to your pediatrician about how to integrate ORS into your child’s treatment roster. If you observe severe symptoms, consult your child specialist at the earliest to seek a thorough diagnosis. With ORS therapy under your doctor’s guidance, you can keep dehydration at the door and encircle your child in a halo of good health. Start the conversation today. Rainbow Children’s Hospital is home to the best pediatricians in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Vijayawada. Book an appointment with a child specialist to discuss your child’s nutrition today.



Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad