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Liquid replacement for children - recipe to prevent dehydration at home

Fluid replacement is indispensable when children are sick, especially in the case of stomach ailments. Fluid replacement prevents dehydration and fluid deficiency in children. You can make your own liquid replacement according to the children's ER recipe, or buy Semper's fluid replacement at a pharmacy. Avoid Resorb for young children.

When does a child have fluid deficiency?
  • At least on and off during the day, when a fever is low, they should be alert and happy and want to play. Sleeping more than usual is perfectly ok, but the child will sometimes wake up by himself.
  • Pee. It can be difficult to judge based on nappy contents with lots of diarrhea, but you have to try as best you can.
  • Have warm, dry skin with normal color for the baby. A little paler may be ok, but greyish-green pale and clammy - this is not ok!
  • Has saliva in the mouth and if the baby cries tears should come.

Do not wait until the child has become dehydrated (ie becomes numb, stops peeing and has cold and sticky skin and no saliva in the mouth) before you start giving fluid replacement. Fluid replacement should be given from the first vomiting or diarrhea incident.
You can buy liquid replacement in powder form at the pharmacy. It is very important to mix in as much water as is necessary for it to be the right strength (measure!).

Recipe for own liquid replacement
  • 1 liter of pure water (tap water in Sweden)
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt (sodium chloride, common saline, no seltin or other salt variants, no flaked salt, this would be the wrong amount)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Then stir in the salt and the sugar dissolves. Taste! It should taste slightly salty and a little more sweet, but fully drinkable. You can mix in a little concentrated juice (2 tsp in the whole liter) for a better taste, but I'm not sure if I believe it will be better. Taste and decide what is easiest to get in your child.

Återigen: det är JÄTTEVIKTIGT att mäta så att det blir rätt koncentration av socker och salt i lösningen. Höfta inte! En lösning med för mycket socker eller salt kan förvärra situationen snarare än hjälpa den. En rätt blandad vätskeersättning är en livräddande och fantastisk medicin!

Liquid replacement from the pharmacy

Semper's liquid replacement from the pharmacy is well balanced and works well. It is just as important to mix it with the right amount of water as it is to mix the homemade liquid substitute properly.

Resorb is not recommended for children, and especially children under three years of age. It contains more sugar and less salt per litre than the recommended solutions which can interfere with the salt balance in the body.

How much fluid replacement does a child require to prevent dehydration?
Feed the child with fluid replacement, a little at a time

If the baby vomits, start giving liquid replacement with a syringe without needle tip, five millilitres every five minutes. If you give too quickly the child may vomit because of it. After half an hour without vomiting, you can give ten millilitres every ten minutes and after an hour without vomiting you can give the baby fluid replacement in the baby bottle in small sips. If the baby is sick again: go back to five millilitres every five minutes.
If the child only has diarrhea, you can administer fluid replacement quicker from the start. Provide fifty millilitres of fluid replacement for each diarrhea incident the child has.
If the child only gets fluid replacement as a fluid, you need to provide the child's entire basic fluid requirement (that is, all the fluid the child would usually get via food and drink) plus you need to replace all the losses (diarrhea and vomiting) with the same amount of fluid replacement.
So there is a lot of fluid you have to administer! But if you do and the child is well-nourished, is peeing and has warm skin, you can feel like a wonderfully talented, wise and life-saving parent!

When should the child receive anything other than fluid replacement?

When the child is not vomiting and does not have very intensive diarrhea (ie has less than 8 diarrhea incidents / day), you can give fluid other than fluid replacement. Start giving liquids with sugar in, which gives the child some energy. Frozen liquid such as ice cream is also good. Pouches with fruit puree or porridge also work well.
Food can wait until the baby wants it. Liquids can't wait.

What to do if the child does not want anything?

Forcing the child. It's true. Forcing the child. We are not used to forcing our children into things in Sweden today, which is good. But when it comes to fluid intake in the case of stomach ailments, we need to. Let the child sit on your lap, hold in caring arms and insert the syringe (without needle tip), far into the mouth (it goes well behind the teeth row) and inject the liquid on the inside of the cheek. A little may be spit out, but most of it goes in. If you feel like the world's worst parent forcing your child, I just want to say: it's the opposite. You give the child what it needs even if the child does not understand this.

When should I go to the hospital?
  1. If a child under the age of two has very frequent diarrhea, 10-15 incidents / day or more, you should come to the hospital after a few days, even if you manage to give enough fluid replacement, this is to check that the salt balance in the blood is ok. In most cases it is and you can go home and continue with fluid replacement.
  2. If the child vomits so much that it is not possible to give any fluid replacement at all.
  3.  Infants, that is, children under three months who have a lot of vomiting and diarrhea- we would like to assess at the paediatric emergency room.
  4. Children who have huge pains in the stomach, even if it is only for short bursts.
  5. Signs the child shows of dehydration (see above) which do not get better after a few hours of fluid replacement.
  6. Is the child very drowsy, difficult to wake, has cold, pale and clammy skin or just hangs like a rag doll.
  7.  Has the child copious diarrhea with blood. If the child has a few diarrhea incidents per day with some blood in them, you should go to the health centre the next weekday.
  8. When you are no longer able to cope and have no one to help you at home. Then explain this at the hospital "I am alone and can no longer cope, I have to sleep!". Otherwise, it may be difficult for the paediatrician to understand that it is not possible to continue at home when the child is not dehydrated.
Share at work!

Speaking of point eight above: It is a full time job and more to care for a child with a stomach ailment at home. Make sure you two share the load if it is at all possible. A parent with the stomach flu can't take care of a sick child. In this case the other parent must stay home. If you are a single parent, you will need help from another adult.


33 thoughts on “Vätskeersättning för barn – recept för att hindra uttorkning hemma”

  1. 1177 recommends that you make self-contained liquid compensation only if the child is over 1 year and buy liquid compensation for children under 1 year, because they are more sensitive. How do you look at it?

    1. Don't really understand why. Whether you buy or mix yourself, it is important to measure carefully, especially with smaller children.

  2. Mother to 9-month-old boy

    Hey! We have a sick little boy at home who has been ill for a week now. When we visited the health center yesterday we got the tip to mix in some apple juice in the liquid substitute, which I did. I mixed the liquid replacement according to the recipe and poured in juice without measuring. Guess it was a couple of teaspoons per deciliter of compensation. Could they have hurt our child? Thanks for a great blog!

  3. Thanks for a great post. Know that you are not blogging here anymore, but I still use the blog all the time. Now we have just made fluid replacement after the recipe here and have come through yet another stomach ailment. THANKS!

  4. Hey! I want to thank you for a great post! The information made me give my 8 month baby's fluid replacement every five minutes for hours tonight, otherwise I think we would have ended up in the nursery. And your strengthening words made me feel good and a good parent. Thanks!

  5. how do i do if i e abroad I mean their tap water e not like Swedish tap water. Can you then buy water and mix sugar and salt? or can i take tap water and boil it and then mix sugar and salt? hope they did not become a strange post now

    1. It is a good idea to buy water or boil tap water and mix liquid replacement if you are somewhere where water quality is uncertain, whether you mix your own with sugar and salt or mix with instant powder / resorb.

  6. Hello,
    How long can one stand and ready to drink liquid replacement drink? After what time can you throw and make a new one? I have made 250 ml and it is quite long before my baby drinks it up

    1. I usually mix one liter at a time and leave it in the fridge for a few days and clean up the glass or cup as well. Ordinary judgment applies.

  7. Which side, I happily share it to all parents! I have been working for eight years as a nurse at an emergency clinic in central Sweden, where we do not have a children's emergency line on the laser, so I meet a lot of sick children - both really sick and easier cases. Despite this, it is incredibly difficult to judge the condition of their own children and at 1177 I rarely find support. But your clear advice, concrete ways of assessing the child's condition, when it should be, etc. are gold - even for someone who is not completely novice! Strangely yet, how "stupid" you get when it comes to your own ... has a two-year-old with stomach disease here at home now who is spooned with fluid replacement and yet I am not sure how he feels. Actually. Then it is good that this site exists and guides my troubled mother-brain!

  8. Does mixing liquid replacement work with carbonated water? Tried to get 20 months' allowance for daughter but failed to get any further. However, she is very fond of carbonated water so thought it would probably go better then.

  9. Have to say I'm so glad I found this site! 1177 is a little difficult to interpret sometimes and you chase yourself for small things. Here you get good answers with good examples that are easy to understand.

    Great job and I hope you continue! Many thanks!

  10. Our little daughter is sick at the moment, she is nine months. I had missed the fact that it could be dangerous to give her liquid replacement diluted with fruit juice (such as Semper's baby fruit juice) and she got maybe 2.5 dl of liquid compensation diluted in juice in total. Could it have permanently damaged her kidneys? Or what happens if they get too much salt?

  11. If you are almost fully cured should breastfeeding be enough? My husband has got stomach ailment and if a little one gets stomach ache I was thinking of skipping to give the little food we give today (picking food) and just breastfeeding. That should be enough, I think she would feel worse by being forced into a lot of fluid replacement.

    1. No, it is often not enough for a proper stomach ailment. The reason is that the need for fluid increases so suddenly from a stomach ailment that the breasts do not have time to increase their production before the baby becomes dehydrated.

      In case of copious diarrhea or severe vomiting, I highly recommend supplementing breastfeeding with fluid replacement. Helamning is definitely nicer. But the risk is significant that the cozy will be replaced with a clearly uncomfortable time at the children's hospital if the child does not get enough fluid!

      Hope both you and the child can get rid of the sickness!

    1. If the diarrhea / vomiting is many and large, if the child seems affected and tired, or if the child has not coughed for a long time, you need to give fluid replacement intensively until you see that the condition improves. Often, you can give a syringe of fluid in the mouth, along the inside of the cheek, without waking the baby. Just make sure the child is half-seated in your lap, reducing the risk of swallowing errors. If the losses are small and sparse, the child seems relatively well and recently kissed, you can slow down. If the losses increase again, you compensate with more fluid compensation. Simply explained, what is lost must be replaced to avoid dehydration. My experience is that almost all parents give too little fluid replacement too rarely before coming to the emergency room. The trick is to not let the baby cling to it to immediately vomit or give too little, too slowly. Instead, give as much fluid replacement as your stomach tolerates without vomiting, as quickly as possible. Usually 5 ml every 5 minutes works well. Already after someone to a couple of decilit, you usually notice an incredible difference in how the child is feeling!

    2. Thanks for the reply. When I had my first children, I didn't get them to take fluid replacement, but I gave water. I really want to warn everyone to do something so stupid. The child may have a taste of drinking water at other locations and that water does not contain sugar and salt. So fluid replacement is better. I find it difficult to get into it so I usually mix it with something that I don't think it does anything if the child gets a taste for it. Coca Cola mixed with liquid replacement. I understand that it is not the best because it contains a lot of sugar but has thought that the need has no law. If the child drinks, it is better than not drinking. How do you look at it?

    3. If you mix Coca-Cola with liquid substitute, the sugar content of the beverage will be too high. We know that this in turn can cause the blood salinity to be too high. Possibly by the intestinal cells absorbing salt by means of sugar, or by drawing water into the intestine due to the sugar content of the drink and the salt remaining in the blood. I therefore advise against mixing liquid replacement with Coca-Cola (assuming that you use more than one tablespoon of cola per liter of fluid replacement). It is very important that the sugar / salt / water proportions are correct.

    4. As a Pharmacist, I always recommend fluid replacement when parents swear paracetamol and ibuprofen to their children. However, my experience is the same as yours, the parents give little, probably because you can not sit there with a tablespoon every 5 minutes. Therefore, they usually recommend that they always have liquid replacement with a little lime frozen in ice-cream form. The child gets an "ice cream" and maybe a video film, the parent gets a moment to breathe and maybe take a shower -> All the happy trot vomiting

  12. Thanks to this has helped us when we have had a vomit sick daughter and we started a bit too fast with food and porridge so we had to start over.
    The liquid replacement did the trick and together with them on 1177 we now have a spiffy daughter again. Phew.

  13. I've read that breathing works just as well as fluid replacement. What is your opinion of that. After all, it is usually easier to get the baby to breastfeed, if you still do.

    1. My experience is that breastfeeding works well in light stomach ailments, but it is often not enough for copious losses. Some children vomit all breast milk but retain fluid replacement, some retain but do not get enough of themselves even though they suck almost all the time. After all, it takes a day or two to increase milk production even after the child has increased his suction frequency. But in light stomach ailments it often works. In the case of more severe, you should continue breastfeeding but supplement with fluid replacement.

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