Oral Rehydration Therapy for Kids: A More Palatable Alternative

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Kids drink more of what they like

This study, in a developed country, found rehydration with diluted apple juice worked just as well as ORT. In children ≥ 24 months of age, there were fewer treatment failures.


Infants may not benefit; ondansetron played a role

Children in this study were only mildly dehydrated. The study did not include infants younger than 6 months of age, and the greatest benefit was seen in children ≥ 24 months of age.

Also noteworthy was that most of the children (67.4%) received an oral dose of ondansetron (0.1 mg/kg). Although ondansetron is expensive, it would be considered cost-effective if one dose prevents a hospitalization. Previous studies of oral ondansetron show it reduces vomiting (NNT, 5); lowers the rate of IV hydration in the ED (NNT, 5); and reduces the hospitalization rate from the ED (NNT, 17).10

Lastly, there are a variety of fluid replacement guidelines. In this study, fluid replacement was 2 mL/kg for a vomiting episode and 10 mL/kg for a diarrhea episode.


Given the ease of swapping diluted apple juice for ORT, there are no foreseen barriers to implementation.


The PURLs Surveillance System was supported in part by Grant Number UL1RR024999 from the National Center For Research Resources, a Clinical Translational Science Award to the University of Chicago. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center For Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.

Copyright © 2016. The Family Physicians Inquiries Network. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from the Family Physicians Inquiries Network and The Journal of Family Practice. 2016;65(12): 924-926.

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