If you have a toddler who is feeling unwell whether it be due to vomiting or diarrhoea it is a good idea to ensure they are taking in enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Water alone is not enough as it does not replace the electrolytes lost through illnesses such as these.
Dioralyte is a suitable solution for children in Ireland – they are rehydration sachets which should be taken at the following dosages:
“Daily intake may be based on a volume of 150ml/kg body weight for infants and 20-40 mg/kg body weight for adults and children.
A reasonable approximation is:
Infants – One to one and a half times the usual feed volume. For infants under 12 months, use only under medical advice
Children – One sachet after every loose motion.”
The patient information leaflet with full instructions can be found here : http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/13774/PIL/Dioralyte/
The big problem is convincing your child that its a good idea to take it! Whilst it comes in natural, citrus or blackcurrant flavours parents often complain in the pharmacy that none of the options are particularly pleasing to their child and from personal experience I agree! However….. as we all know so long as toddlers are in control and messing with ‘water’ they are happy!! I have found the following approach useful and thought I’d share it in the hope that another ill child can be convinced that drinking dioralyte is infact a good plan and not something to be immediately dismissed! I will admit this approach relies heavily on the novelty factor but in general it has helped avoid dehydration in our house and vomiting and diarrhoea are generally short term illnesses so the novelty has not worn off too early to prevent success! Please do have a read of my dehydration blog though to identify when it is time to see the doctor and how to notice warning symptoms – http://wonderbaba.ie/2015/04/23/a-wonderbaba-guide-to-dehydration/
So instead of trying to give the mixture (made up as per manufacturers recommedations) by bottle or sippy cup – or even by trying to syringe it ml by ml into their mouths which can be a distressing process all around – tell them you have a challenge for them! Show them how to use an oral syringe themselves – get them to practice drawing up water and pushing it out at any stage just for amusement!
Then when they need Dioralyte give them a cup with approx 50ml of the reconstituted mixture in it and hand them the oral syringe. Ask them how quickly they can draw up and swallow all of the mixture, or ask them to guess how many times they will need to draw up the oral syringe to empty the cup and you can always throw in the extra motivation of a reward like a little snack or sticker etc once the cup is empty!
My two will happily take about 100mls this way before they get bored – the three year old is more efficient at it than the two year old (think mess everywhere) but the two year old does find it quite amusing if the three year old does it for her – basically any version of this as it is a little bit of fun that empowers them instead of involving a grown up standing stressed over them equipped with 200mls of solution with no idea of how to get them to take it!
It’s a simple but effective tip!
If anyone has any questions about vomiting, diarrhoea or dehydration please don’t hesitate to get in touch by sending me a private message on the WonderBaba facebook page – www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare or by phoning me at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262!
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