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How is dehydration treated?

Most children become dehydrated because of vomiting caused by a viral infection. The goal is to prevent dehydration in the first place or replace lost fluid by giving plenty of fluids when the child is ill. This is called fluid replacement.
 
  • Oral re-hydration solutions (ORS) are often recommended as the body will have lost sugar, salt and minerals as well as water. GPs or pharmacists can advise a parent about suitable products. Ensure to check the dosage instructions.
  • It may seem that your child is vomiting all that is given but generally an adequate amount of fluid is kept down.
  • Try and maintain normal eating habits.
  • For children on solid food, within four hours after vomiting stops, simple foods that are high in carbohydrates are recommended, like rice, pasta or potatoes. 
  • If you are breastfeeding, you should continue to breastfeed throughout the illness. 
  •  If you are bottle-feeding continue with normal strength feeds. 
 
Medical Treatment
In cases of severe dehydration, admission to hospital may be required. Fluid may be given through a tube through the nose or saline drip intravenously.
 
Next Steps - Follow-Up
When your child is sent home from hospital, you will be given instructions for care, monitoring and further fluid replacement.
 
Find out more about when you should seek medical care for dehydration

More questions

Once you have established your toddler has a slight fever, there are a number of measures you can take to keep it under control
If your toddler has a slight fever, there are a number of measures you can take to keep it under control.
The average body temperature should be between 35°C and 37°C.
 
While a fever can be treated, it's important to keep in mind that fevers are usually the symptom of an illness and not the illness itself.
A body’s temperature is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
 
Getting norovirus cannot always be avoided, but good hygiene can help limit the spread of the virus...
All about how to deal with the winter vomiting bug...
All about how to treat the winter vomiting bug...
The first sign of norovirus is usually a abrupt feeling of nausea followed by sick feeling, followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
Norovirus is more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.

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