Things I believe in #40 – Oral Rehydration Salts

Eight ounces of clean water. One pinch of salt. One teaspoon of sugar. Mix well. Give it to your child who has diarrhea. Save her life. It doesn’t cure diarrhea, but it’ll prevent fatal dehydration until the illness passes.

It’s not a perfect solution. Not everyone has access to clean water. You need to have a clean container, too, and you need to be able to measure. And it’s not the best possible fluid for rehydration; it’s merely very good.

But it’s cheap and finding the water, the container, the sugar, and the salt is something almost everyone can do. It is something a mother or a father can do at home to heal their child. You don’t need a doctor, a hospital, an expert of any kind. Oral rehydration salts will not hurt a healthy child, and they won’t make a sick child sicker, even if they don’t heal. No one goes broke providing them, or ends up dependent on an expensive foreign-made drug.

To the parents of a sick child, oral rehydration salts are nothing short of miraculous.

Put the water in the glass first. Add the salt. Stir well. It should be no saltier than tears. Add the sugar. At least a teaspoon; more is okay. Help your little girl drink it.

There. You just performed a miracle, yourself.