Home Medical News Doctors Warn Against Homemade ORS – Choose WHO-Approved Solutions for Dehydration During Heatwaves

Doctors Warn Against Homemade ORS – Choose WHO-Approved Solutions for Dehydration During Heatwaves

by Dr. Shruthi R
Doctors Warn Against Homemade ORS – Choose WHO-Approved Solutions for Dehydration During Heatwaves

As heatwaves sweep across India, preventing dehydration, especially in children, is crucial. Watch the video to learn why doctors recommend WHO-approved ORS over homemade mixtures to effectively combat dehydration and save lives.

As India grapples with intense heatwaves, preventing dehydration, particularly among children, has become a significant challenge. One of the most severe health impacts of high temperatures is diarrhea, which leads to the loss of excessive water and electrolytes from the body. Dehydration resulting from diarrhea is a major concern, especially given that diarrhea is the third leading cause of child mortality in India.

Despite the critical importance of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) in preventing dehydration caused by diarrhea, only 60.6% of children receive this essential treatment, as per recent data from NFHS-5. Dr. Pankaj Garg, Senior Consultant in Neonatology at Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi, emphasized the crucial role of ORS in managing dehydration and diarrhea in children.

“Diarrhea causes rapid fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances, leading to dehydration. ORS is a simple yet highly effective solution to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, preventing complications and promoting faster recovery in young children,” said Dr. Garg. While ORS is safe and effective, he warned against the dangers of incorrect mixtures of salt or sugar in water, which can be harmful.

“Incorrect homemade solutions or sugary drinks can disrupt the delicate balance of electrolytes, leading to severe health risks such as worsening dehydration or even death in extreme cases,” cautioned Dr. Garg. Dr. Mohsin Wali, Consultant Physician at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, underscored the importance of selecting the correct ORS from the market.

“Choosing the right ORS is crucial for effectively managing diarrhea and dehydration. It’s vital to differentiate between ORS and commercially available sugary drinks. While these beverages may offer some electrolytes and fluids, they lack the crucial glucose-sodium and potassium balance necessary for rapid and effective rehydration,” said Dr. Wali. Sugary drinks may provide temporary relief but do not address the core issue of dehydration.

Dr. Wali recommended opting for an ORS formulation approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), specifically designed for rehydration purposes. “Most of these ORS packages will have ‘WHO’ written on them. A WHO-approved ORS formulation maintains overall health and ensures quick recovery, especially in vulnerable populations such as children,” said Dr. Wali.

By understanding the benefits of ORS and its proper use, individuals and families can take charge of their health, particularly during the hot summer months. Proper use of WHO-approved ORS can potentially save thousands of children’s lives each year, providing a simple and effective solution to prevent dehydration and its severe consequences.

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