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Articles : A to Z Conditions (including Pertussis)
General Treatment of Diarrhea: Back to Articles
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

                                               General Treatment of Diarrhea

Excerpt from Natural Baby and Chlldcare


Encourage fluids.  Rehydration drinks with electrolytes are recommended, as children can lose electrolytes with diarrhea. Pedialyte is popular; however, it can also be homemade. Chances are you may have what you need around the house.  The Centre for International Child Health Institute instructs families worldwide about simple home uses for rehydration for childhood diarrhea. Traditionally, breastmilk, orange juice (1/2 cup) rice water, carrot soup, and diluted cooked cereal and water (gruel) can prevent a child from becoming dehydrated.


Oral Rehydration Solution (from the Rehydration Project)

1 liter (little more than a quart) of clean water 

8 teaspoons of sugar (molasses and natural raw sugar have more potassium than refined white sugar)

1 teaspoon of salt

Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. For flavor and extra potassium add ½ cup of orange juice and 1 mashed banana.   


If these are not available, give fresh fruit juice. In older infants and children, slowly introduce solids as diarrhea begins to decrease. The B-R-A-T diet (bananas, rice (including rice cereal and rice crackers), applesauce, and tea or toast) used to be recommended for several days. However, many practitioner have found this limits a child’s diet too much and an expanded diet of broth, plain pasta, potato, and steamed vegetables can be introduced as well.  For diarrhea illnesses that are not improving, see your practitioner for stool exams. Antidiarrheal drugs not recommended in children due to unpredictable reactions.


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