Diarrhea in children causes and treatment
Children usually have diarrhea or thin stools due to germs entering the stomach. In children, diarrhea is a cause for concern. This is because children are much more at risk of dehydration from diarrhea than adults. This dehydration can be severe if left untreated. Here’s how to prevent diarrhea and dehydration in children.
Symptoms of diarrhea in children
We usually use the words ‘diarrhea’ and ‘thin stool’ in the same sense. However, in medical terms, soft or thin stools do not necessarily mean diarrhea. It is usually diarrhea if you have a weak or thin stool three times a day or more.
For babies who are breastfed, their bowel movements are naturally soft and sticky. That is not diarrhea. However, if your child has thinner stools than usual, it is also considered diarrhea.
Symptoms of dehydration in children
In diarrhea, many water and various salts are released from the body. When this deficit is not filled, dehydration occurs. And if this dehydration goes to an extreme level, it can lead to death. So the first treatment for diarrhea is to serve the dehydration.
The main symptoms of dehydration are:
- Dry mouth
- Dry or itchy eyes
- Dry mouth and lips
- Dark yellow, strong-smelling urine
- Decreased urination (less than four urination in 24 hours)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling tired
- Some of the more common symptoms are in children under five. These symptoms are relatively severe, so immediately getting the baby to the doctor is essential. Symptoms include:
- Increased breathing and heart rate,
- Crying but not tears,
- Sitting on the soft part of the front of the palm of the head, and
Causes of diarrhea in children
The most common causes of diarrhea are:
- Infections or infections in the stomach. It is also called gastroenteritis. It usually heals within a few days.
- Invasion of a virus called norovirus.
- Food poisoning is also a common cause of thin stools or diarrhea.
Also, the causes of diarrhea or thin stools are:
- Medication Side Effects – Read the instructions given with any medicine and see the side effects of the treatment.
- Allergies to certain foods or intolerance to certain foods
- Celiac disease
Domestic treatment of thin stools in children
You can usually treat your baby’s diarrhea at home. The most important thing, in this case, is to drink plenty of fluids and eat food to avoid dehydration.
1. Treatment of dehydration in children with diarrhea
The main thing to do in treating diarrhea is to make up for the body’s lack of water and salt. Therefore, in case of diarrhea, the child should be given adequate food saline, plenty of fluids, and nutritious food.
After each bowel movement, give 50-100 ml of liquid to children under two years of age, 100-200 ml of fluids to children between 2 and 10 years of age, and as much as they can to children ten years of age.
2. What should children eat if they have diarrhea?
- Continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed the baby. If the child vomits, you can eat it repeatedly, little by little.
- Liquid drinks include chira water, rice starch, or coconut water. You can add a little salt to the rice flour.
- Give small sips of water between the two meals for children eating formula or solid foods.
- Feed the baby every three to four hours. It is better to feed little by little without giving too much food at once.
- Prepare and provide the infant formula as instructed. Do not feed the baby by making a thinner formula than that.
Do not eat if you have diarrhea.
There is no reason to believe that giving certain foods to a child can cure diarrhea. For example, there is a widespread belief that diarrhea patients can eat nothing but white rice and glassware. This idea is not correct. Even if you have a thin bowel movement, you should eat all kinds of nutritious food made in a clean environment. However, refrain from feeding the child fruit juices, soft drinks, etc., in case of diarrhea, etc., bought from the market. This is because feeding can make diarrhea worse.
3. Diarrhea medicine
Diarrhea usually stops within 5-6 days, but dehydration caused by diarrhea requires immediate treatment. In most cases, getting rid of diarrhea through treatment at home is possible. The following are the medicines for diarrhea:
1. Dietary saline: It is generally advisable to give the child a high dose of dietary saline in proportion to the age after each diarrhea. Even if you don’t have food saline, you can make food saline at home. Chira water, rice starch, or coconut water can also be given. You can add a little salt to the rice flour. If you feel nauseous, try to feed little by little.
2. Zinc tablets: Studies have shown that zinc tablets can reduce the duration of thin stools by one-fourth. According to the doctor’s advice, the child can be given 20 mg zinc tablets or syrup for 10-14 days.
3. Paracetamol: Paracetamol can be taken if you feel discomfort in the stomach. Before giving the medicine to the child, read the instructions with the medication well, and you must take the right amount of treatment according to the age.
4. Loperamide-type medicine: In an emergency, the doctor may recommend taking loperamide-type medication to close the stool for a few hours. However, the drug should never be used in children under 12. This can be harmful to health.
The child should also be given nutritious food along with diarrhea medicine. Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of diarrhea in children. So babies under six months should continue to be breastfed and eat nutritious food for older children. However, it should be kept in mind that saline may have to be given intravenously by hospitalization in case of severe dehydration.
Medications that should not be taken in case of diarrhea
Medicines to stop diarrhea should not be taken in children under 12.
Do not give aspirin to children under 16 years of age. Make sure that the word ASPIRIN is written below the name of the medicine. Do not take any antibiotics or over-the-counter laxatives without consulting first with your doctor.
What to do to prevent the spread of diarrhea in the family
In case of thin stools or diarrhea, the patient needs adequate rest. On the one hand, it will help in quick recovery; on the other hand; it will also play an essential role in stopping the spread of diarrhea.
Keep the baby at home for at least two days after the diarrhea has healed. Do not send your child to play at school or on the field. Otherwise, this thin stool or diarrhea may spread among others. What to do to prevent the spread of diarrhea:
- Be sure to wash your baby’s hands frequently with soap and water.
- Wash clothes or bed sheets that contact the toilet separately with warm water.
- Clean water faucets, door handles, toilet seats, flush handles, and areas that may be exposed daily to germs.
Do not do anything if you have diarrhea.
- Do not share baby dishes, knives, towels, or clothes.
- Do not drop the baby into a pond or swimming pool until two weeks have passed since the symptoms went away.
When to go to the doctor for a child’s diarrhea?
In case of diarrhea, if any of the following symptoms occur, consult a doctor immediately. The severe symptoms of diarrhea are:
- Blood or sticky mucus going to the toilet,
- Severe abdominal pain,
- Diarrhea does not improve,
- Not urinating once in 12 hours,
- Symptoms of dehydration are mentioned above,
- Fever for more than 48 hours with diarrhea, i.e., body temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and
- The baby’s hands and feet become cold, with spots on the skin.
These indicate a severe condition, so it is essential to start treatment as soon as possible with the help of a doctor.