Little boy is drinking apple juice using straw

When children develop diarrhea, parents are often advised to give them an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte to prevent dehydration. The goal is to both replace fluids and minerals.

Home Treatment for Child’s Diarrhea Can Be Helpful:

A new study on more than 600 youngsters between 6 months and 5 years of age shows that a less expensive alternative may also work. The youngsters were brought to an emergency room suffering from mild dehydration due to a bout of stomach flu.

Half-Strength Apple Juice vs. Electrolyte Solution:

Half the kids were randomly assigned to get an apple-flavored electrolyte solution, while the other half were given half-strength apple juice followed by the child’s own favorite beverage. Surprisingly, apple juice did quite well in treating a child’s diarrhea. Those children given diluted apple juice were slightly less likely to require hospitalization or intravenous fluids.

Since parents may not always have an electrolyte solution on hand, half-strength apple juice may be a useful home strategy unless a child is quite ill. If a child’s diarrhea is severe, medical supervision and electrolyte support will remain essential. Medical attention is also critical for young babies under 6 months of age.

JAMA, May 10, 2016  


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