Pedialyte for Babies: Benefits, Dosage, and Safety
The benefits of using Pedialyte are many. First of all it helps prevent dehydration. If your child drinks too much water or if they don’t get enough food during the day then their body will start losing electrolytes like sodium (table salt) and potassium (potassium chloride). These two minerals are essential to maintain proper brain function and muscle strength. Without them, children become irritable and lose focus. When these kids do not eat, they may experience diarrhea which leads to dehydration.
Another benefit of Pedialyte is that it keeps your child hydrated throughout the day. They need fluids to keep up with growth and development. A lack of fluid causes headaches, nausea, vomiting and even seizures in some cases!
Finally, Pedialyte prevents your child from becoming dehydrated. Even when your child does not drink enough water, they still could become dehydrated due to the heat or humidity in the air. Children who spend long periods of time outside without access to shade or cool places can develop hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels), which can lead to death.
Hyponatremia occurs because the kidneys cannot excrete excess sodium into urine properly.
What is the Dosage for a Baby?
The recommended dosage of pedialyte for babies is as follows. First, you want to check the concentration of the solution (how much salt and water it contains). You should aim for between 100-150 milliosmoles per liter. Babies under 12 months old should drink or eat half of their weight in ounces. For example, if your baby weighs 16 pounds then you should give them 8 ounces of the solution. Between 12 and 24 months old, babies should drink or eat 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Beyond 2 years old, children can drink or eat 2 ounces per pound of body weight.
You should only give the solution if your child is showing signs of dehydration. You can check for dehydration by gently pressing on the skin on the back of their hand. If it springs back immediately then they are fine.
If there is a dent then they are slightly dehydrated, and if the dent persists then they need medical attention.
How Long Can a Child Have This Drink?
You can give the solution for as long as your pediatrician recommends it. The treatment usually lasts one to two days. If the dehydration is caused by gastroenteritis then the treatment can last up to a week. Some babies may need to use the solution beyond a week.
What is the Best Brand of Pedialyte?
The best brand of pedialyte is the one that your child likes. Some may not like the taste and refuse to drink it. The cheapest brand in most stores is just as good as the most expensive one. Look at the concentration and the ingredients if you want to decide which one to buy. Some people think that certain ones taste better than others. To be sure, buy a small pack of different ones and let your baby decide.
Is There Any Other Way to Prevent Dehydration?
The best way to prevent dehydration is to give your baby plenty of fluids. Always make sure that they are drinking enough water or juice. You can also give them popsicles or freeze juice into ice cubes. Offer these to your child whenever they seem thirsty or are eating ice cream, chips, or anything else that has a lot of salt.
In addition to water and juice, babies and young children should avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol. These drinks can lead to dehydration. Be aware of how much milk your child is drinking too.
If they have too much milk then they may not drink enough water.
Outdoor heat and exercise can lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated prevents cramps, headaches, and dizziness, which are all caused by a lack of hydration. Be sure to pay attention to signs of dehydration in yourself and your children.
Children with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea should not go out into the sun. They should also use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when they are outdoors.
Remember that drinking too much water can also be dangerous. If you are breastfeeding your baby then you should not drink more than 500 milliliters of water per day. This is about 2.5 cups or 16 ounces.
You should not give your child a bottle of water if they have diarrhea either. Wait until the diarrhea has stopped or else they will just make it worse.
What Are the Signs of Dehydration to Watch Out For?
If you are unsure if your child is getting dehydrated then look for these signs:
No tears when they cry
Not wanting to eat or drink anything
Not having a wet diaper in over 6 hours
Sunken soft spot on their head
Sometimes, these signs do not always show up. In these cases, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always watch for signs of dehydration and take your baby to the doctor as soon as possible.
If you think they are becoming dehydrated then offer them water or their favorite drink right away.
Does Using This Drink Prevent Dehydration?
Yes, using this solution prevents dehydration. It rehydrates your child better than water alone. It contains the same ingredients as the fluids in our bodies. These are specifically designed to help replenish lost fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients.
What Happens if My Child Won’t Drink It?
If your child refuses to drink their rehydration solution then they are not as severely dehydrated. However, they should still drink at least 1 cup of water or their rehydration solution every hour. They could still become severely dehydrated if they do not take in any fluids over a long period of time.
How Long Does it Take for This Drink to Work?
It should start working within 20 minutes. The sooner it is taken, the better it will work. It is more effective at preventing and curing dehydration than regular water.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Call the doctor if your baby’s skin is not better after you have given them two doses of this solution.
If your child has diarrhea and is vomiting, do not give them this solution. Instead, call your doctor or seek medical attention immediately. Do not wait to see if it gets better on its own.
How Do I Store This Liquid?
The package the solution comes in is sterile. You should keep it that way until you are ready to use it. Keep the bottle out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. You should not put it in a refrigerator. Store it in a cool, dry place.
Once opened, you need to finish the bottle within 24 hours. Throw away any unused portions once this time has elapsed.
What if I Miss a Dose?
It is not a problem if you miss a dose by accident. Just continue with your regular dosing schedule and make sure to take your next one when it is due.
What if I Take More Than the Recommended Dose?
There should be no reason to do this. If you do, then your baby may experience side effects such as vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. They may also develop an electrolyte imbalance and require medical treatment.
What if I Throw Up After Taking the Medicine?
It is common to throw up immediately after taking ibuprofen. If this happens, do not take any more doses for the day. If you vomit later on, you should contact your doctor for further instructions.
In addition, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Drink 8 ounces of juice if you don’t have an aversion to it.
What if I Have Further Questions?
Always feel free to ask your doctor any questions you may have. They will also be able to help you if you need any prescriptions for this medication.
When you pick up this medicine from the pharmacy, be sure to ask how long it will take for it to be ready. You will need to pick it up within 72 hours of when you called to have it ready.
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Commonly used preparations for colonoscopy: Efficacy, tolerability and safety–A Canadian Association of Gastroenterology position paper by A Barkun, N Chiba, R Enns, M Marcon… – Canadian journal of …, 2006 – hindawi.com
SPA by B Book – stamfordpediatrics.com
A randomized clinical trial comparing oral ondansetron with placebo in children with vomiting from acute gastroenteritis by C Ramsook, I Sahagun-Carreon, CA Kozinetz… – Annals of emergency …, 2002 – Elsevier