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Oral Rehydration Solutions for Children

Topic Overview

When a child has diarrhea or is vomiting, it is important to prevent dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions (ORSs), such as Pedialyte, are used to prevent or correct dehydration in young children. ORSs contain the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium, and other minerals to help replace lost fluids.

In the first 4 to 6 hours after diarrhea or vomiting has started, give your child the following amount of ORS.

If your baby is less than 2 months old, talk to the doctor about your baby's symptoms before starting ORS fluids.

Treating your child's dehydration
Child's weight Mild dehydration Moderate dehydration

6 lb (3 kg)

4.5 fl oz (135 mL)

9 fl oz (270 mL)

8 lb (4 kg)

6 fl oz (180 mL)

12 fl oz (360 mL)

10 lb (4.5 kg)

7.5 fl oz (225 mL)

15 fl oz (450 mL)

12 lb (5 kg)

9 fl oz (270 mL)

18 fl oz (540 mL)

14 lb (6 kg)

10.5 fl oz (315 mL)

21 fl oz (630 mL)

16 lb (7 kg)

12 fl oz (360 mL)

24 fl oz (720 mL)

18 lb (8 kg)

13.5 fl oz (405 mL)

27 fl oz (810 mL)

20 lb (9 kg)

15 fl oz (450 mL)

30 fl oz (900 mL)

22 lb (10 kg)

16.5 fl oz (495 mL)

33 fl oz (990 mL)

24 lb (11 kg)

18 fl oz (540 mL)

36 fl oz (1 L)

26 lb (12 kg)

19.5 fl oz (585 mL)

39 fl oz (1 L)

28 lb (13 kg)

21 fl oz (630 mL)

42 fl oz (1 L)

30 lb (14 kg)

22.5 fl oz (675 mL)

45 fl oz (1 L)

32 lb (14.5 kg)

24 fl oz (720 mL)

48 fl oz (1 L)

34 lb (15 kg)

25.5 fl oz (765 mL)

51 fl oz (2 L)

Allow your child to drink as much fluid as he or she wants. Small amounts at frequent intervals are usually better tolerated. Replace any additional fluid lost through diarrhea or vomiting.

Watch for signs of dehydration. If your child develops signs of dehydration, increase the amount of fluid you are giving.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised May 10, 2013

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