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To prevent dehydration, take
frequent sips of a
rehydration drink (such as Pedialyte). Try to drink a cup of water or rehydration drink for each large,
loose stool you have. Sports drinks, soda pop, and fruit juices contain too
much sugar and not enough of the important
electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea and should
not be used to rehydrate. You can
make your own rehydration drink.
Try to stay with your normal
diet as much as possible. Eating your usual diet will help you to get enough
nutrition. Doctors believe that eating a normal diet will also help you feel
better faster. But try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Also
avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for 2 days after all symptoms have
Symptoms of mild dehydration in your child can include being irritable, agitated, fussy,
or restless and urinating less frequently than usual.
Symptoms of moderate dehydration can include a decreased
interest in play, sunken eyes with few tears, and urinating fewer than 3 times
in 24 hours.
Symptoms of severe dehydration
can include a lack of interest in playing, extreme sleepiness, a dry mouth and
tongue, fast breathing, a rapid heartbeat, and not urinating for more than 12
hours. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency. Call911or other emergency services immediately.
For children who are breast-feeding or bottle-feeding,
continue the regular breast milk or formula feeding as much as possible. You
may have to feed at more frequent intervals to replace lost fluids. Give an
oral rehydration solution (ORS), such as Pedialyte, between feedings only if
you see signs of dehydration.
For older children, give ½ cup
[4 fl oz (118 mL)] to 1 cup
[8 fl oz (237 mL)] of water,
milk, or a rehydration drink each hour, and try to keep feeding your child his
or her usual diet. Foods to try include potatoes, chicken breast without the
skin, cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid foods that
have a lot of fat or sugar. Supplement feedings with small sips or spoonfuls of
a rehydration drink or clear liquid every few minutes.
Medicines that stop
diarrhea (such as Imodium) can reduce the severity and length of simple
diarrhea. Using them may help with your symptoms. Antidiarrheal medicines
should not be used if you have a fever or bloody diarrhea, because they can
actually make you sicker. Do not give antidiarrheals to children.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 08, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this