Early Rehydration Is Important
In the CME-certified article (1), household remedies/drinks are declared as unsuitable, without taking into account that these are available always and almost everywhere, in contrast to ready-made oral rehydration solutions (ORS). Especially in precarious situations they may be even more easily available than clean water; for this reason, they should constitute the first and most important steps of early rehydration treatment administered at home. Soft drinks diluted with water 1:1, tea with a small amount of salt, soup, or slightly salted yoghurt (salt lassi) are lifesaving, if used early, and their administration should not be delayed just because it is “unscientific” and not in line with the guidelines.
The availability and acceptance of ready-made ORS is often unsatisfactory, and the best possible measure is useless if it cannot be applied. Furthermore, ORS, given their content, are far too expensive and available only in pharmacies, which may be far away and hard to reach at night times or weekends.
For many years now, pediatricians have prevented unnecessary hospital admissions by administering oral rehydration as early as possible. Home-made improvised substitute preparations, such as tea with salt and sugar or diluted soft drinks with pretzel sticks can be administered without delay, rather than “as soon as the patient has been examined and weighed by a nurse and the parents have been appropriately instructed” in the doctor’s office or emergency room. On a global scale it is far more important to publicize these simple precautionary measures, in communities and in schools, but at the very least in under-five clinics and maternal counselling centers. What is not mentioned at all is that a lot of educational material and recipes are available in the international pediatric practice and literature (see www.rehydrate.org/solutions/talc.htm). A preventive propagation of these measures is feasible, effective and, last not least, economical.
Dr. med. Stephan Heinrich Nolte
Kinder- und Jugendarzt/Psychotherapeut
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Posovszky C, Buderus S, Claßen M, Lawrenz B, Keller KM, Koletzko S: Acute infectious gastroenteritis in infancy and childhood. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2020; 117: 615–24 VOLLTEXT|