5.4.3  No dehydration

A child with diarrhoea, even if classified as having no dehydration, still needs extra fluid to prevent dehydration occurring. A child who has no dehydration needs home treatment and the steps for this are set out in Plan A in Box 5.5.

Box 5.5  Plan A:  Treatment for a child with diarrhoea but no dehydration

Counsel the mother on the 4 Rules of Home Treatment

Give Extra Fluids, Give Zinc Supplements, Continue Feeding, When to Return

1  Give extra fluids (as much as the child will take):

Tell the mother:

–  To breastfeed frequently and for longer at each feed.

–  If the child is exclusively breastfed, give ORS in addition to breastmilk.

–  If the child is not exclusively breastfed, give one or more of the following: ORS solution, food-based fluids (such as soup, rice water and yoghurt drinks), or clean water.

It is especially important to give ORS at home when:

–  The child has been treated with Plan B or Plan C during this visit.

–  The child cannot return to a clinic if the diarrhoea gets worse.

●  Teach the mother how to mix and give ORS.

●  Give the mother 2 packets of ORS to use at home.

●  Show the mother how much fluid to give in addition to the usual fluid intake:

Up to 2 years50 to 100 ml after each loose stool
2 years or more100 to 200 ml after each loose stool

Tell the mother to:

–  Give frequent small sips from a cup.

–  If the child vomits, wait 10 minutes. Then continue, but more slowly.

–  Continue giving extra fluid until the diarrhoea stops.

2  Give zinc supplements:

  Tell the mother how much zinc to give:

Up to 6 months1/2 tablet for 10 days
6 months or more1 tablet for 10 days

  Show the mother how to give Zinc supplements

–  Infants — dissolve tablet in a small amount of expressed breastmilk, ORS or clean water in a cup;

–  Older children — tablets can be chewed or dissolved in a small amount of clean water in a cup.

3  Continue feeding

4  Tell her when to return

You should now have a good understanding of how to treat a child with any of the three dehydration classifications. Next you are going to look at how to classify diarrhoea, beginning with persistent diarrhoea.

5.4.2  Some dehydration

5.5  Classify persistent diarrhoea