How to prepare a homemade oral saline solution

You don’t have to be in the middle of the desert to get dehydrated. An intestinal infection with diarrhea, high fever, vomiting or loss of water is enough to cause a negative fluid balance, which can be very dangerous.

Why does a young child become dehydrated?

Dehydration means your little one has lost too much water and can’t drink enough fluids to replenish right away. The main cause of dehydration is diarrhea, although it can also be caused by high temperatures.

“When there is dehydration, the water rich in minerals, nutrients and alkalis that help us live is lost and we begin to present symptoms. In small children, the soft part of the head, called soft spot, sinks in, and his eyes and mouth become dry. In older children, who no longer have the soft spot, are also going to have sunken tearless eyes and a dry mouth”, says Dr. Bosco Alcívar Dueñas.

“The chest begins to breathe more deeply because it wants to get rid of the acids that are harming us. The abdomen sinks, little urine is passed and the limbs begin to lose strength”, adds the pediatrician.

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How to make homemade oral saline solution

To prevent dehydration, it is a good option to give your little one electrolytes. The Mexican Institute of Social Security offers Vida Suero Oral (oral saline solution) in its clinics, but you can also prepare your own version at home.

You will need:

  • 1 liter of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup lemon juice.


Simply mix all the ingredients in a pitcher as if you were preparing lemonade. It should be drunk throughout the day.

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How homemade oral saline solution works

All ingredients are used for the recovery of lost fluids and electrolytes.

Water: It fills the body’s natural cistern and is the best solvent.

Sugar: It returns energy to our brain, which moves with a single fuel called glucose.

Salt: Here it is sodium chloride, common salt, electricity, electrolytes, this gives our limbs the ability to move.

Lemon: it is acid, but at the moment it is in contact with water, it becomes alkaline and counteracts the amount of acid that is being generated.

Always call your doctor

Babies and young children can become dehydrated quickly because they are very small. It is essential that if you notice signs of dehydration you call your pediatrician, because it can quickly become something very serious.

When the symptoms get worse, there may be tachycardia, very high fever, low blood pressure, impaired consciousness (the baby no longer cries) and in extreme cases a fatal outcome.

In young children (older than 6 months), older children and even adults, the homemade oral saline solution is very useful, but in breastfed babies, the pediatrician should advise you how to treat dehydration.

You might be told to increase his milk intake or breastfeeding. In case of severe dehydration, the baby will probably need treatment in a hospital. Always, always, always consult your doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms to avoid complications.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here

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