Not able to understand the confusing uncomfortable behavior of your child? The irregular-unstable faeces that you see every time are tensing you? The bloating and gastric noise that your child makes is not decodable? Well this might be a case of diarrhea. Diarrhea is a very common disease in babies and kids and keeps coming every now and then. If you are a mother to a new born baby, the symptoms and signs might be sounding confusing to you and the way you should be handling it must be getting difficult.
It is not difficult to comfort your child during diarrhea you just need to know the roles you can play and the ways you can tackle the disease with. Our short little guide shall help you deal with your baby’s diarrhea.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a common disease which makes the faeces discharge from the body of the patients too frequent and in a liquid form. It makes the baby difficult to digest any food and constant bowel movements make him uncomfortable. Babies usually have diarrhea accompanied with fever, loss of appétit, vomiting, stomach pains etc.
Diarrhea can be dangerous if not treated on time. It drains the essential water and salt contents from the body and makes the child dehydrated and weak. If these fluids are not restarted developing quickly, there can be serious dehydration problem in children leading them to expert supervision in hospitals.
What causes diarrhea?
- Infections: Viruses are the most common cause of child’s diarrhea. Infection from viruses like rotavirus, bacteria like salmonella bacteria, and parasites like giardia cause diarrhea in babies. Diarrhea is often accompanied with fever, headache, vomiting and gastric problems in babies along with loose and watery stools.
- Food poisoning: Eating some kind of food that is not easily digestible by the body or upsets the stomach can give the baby food poisoning along with diarrhea. Symptoms usually are seen within 24 hours of the food poisoning and are include a lot of vomiting.
- Food allergies: Eating some food which the baby is allergic to can cause diarrhea.
- Viral gastroenteritis: It is a form of stomach flu and can cause nausea and vomiting. It is highly infectious and can last for almost a week.
What are the signs and symptoms of the baby having diarrhea?
Diarrhea starts with an initial tough pain in stomach. Heavy abdominal pain followed by loose stools is common during diarrhea. The infection keeps the disease increasing and so after a day into the disease the body starts falling ill. The symptoms are:
- Loss of appétit
The body becomes weak and uncomfortable. Babies tend to cry a lot and don’t eat anything because of the bowel movements. Although hunger keeps increasing but the uncomfortable bowel movements keep the baby irritated, uncomfortable and feel weak.
How can you prevent your child from diarrhea?
Although infectious diseases are very hard to spot and take prevention from, babies can still be taken care of and prevented from possible effects. Diarrhea is a common ailment in babies and cannot really be prevented from happening every now and then. As the baby’s body is still small and testing different food introductions, food poisoning is often caused in babies leading to diarrhea. However you can prevent your baby from getting diarrhea by taking some preventive measures:
- Wash hands: Make sure that everyone who tries to play with the kid or touches them has clean hands. Babies tend to touch a lot of things around them and constantly put their hands in their mouth, so it becomes important to even keep washing their hands and keep them clean at all times.
- Keep the floor clean: Be it the rooms, bathroom or garden always try to keep it clean and hygienic to prevent your baby from harmful germs and infections.
- Clean food: Fruits, vegetables and water also has infections often. Wash the food items properly before consuming to have a clean and infection free life.
- Fresh Chicken and meat: Take special care in eating poultry and non-vegetarian food. Try to eat them as soon as possible after bringing home, cook well and store in refrigerators for further use. They are infectious when not cooked properly, or kept for longer period of time.
- Keep pets away: Pets roam around the house and gardens and are always dirty. They carry a lot of infections and it’s always safe to keep them clean or keep their toys and utensils away from babies.
What are the preventive/treatment steps that can be taken?
Children with diarrhea have to intake a lot of fluids to save their body from dehydrating. There is no medicinal treatment required in normal situations, as diarrhea is naturally curable. The idea is to keep three things in mind:
- Breastfeeding: If you are into breast-feeding your baby, than you can continue doing so and can also give the baby foods he generally eats.
- Formula feeding: If you are feeding your baby with formula mixes, you can continue doing so but by making them a little runny and dilute.
- Oral rehydration solution (ORS): These are ready made powder and rinks available in market which helps to provide the body with required hydration and salt contents. They are available in flavors and can be chosen upon the baby’s taste.
It is important to give ORS to the baby in small amounts until the baby is healthy enough to drink it normally or drink water normally.
For the first four hours:
- Babies under 6 months – 30 to 90 ml every hour
- Children from 6 months to 2 years – 90 to 125 ml every hour
- Over 2 years – 125 to 250 ml every hour
Although the child might not want to take the ORS or vomits every now and then, ORS is needed to keep the body hydrated. You can stop giving regular food items to the baby and just continue with the Oral rehydration solution. If the vomiting persists even after 4 to 6 hours, take the child to a doctor.
After 4 hours – up to 24 hours:
- Keep giving the child ORS until vomiting is completely stopped and diarrhea is recovering.
- When vomiting stops, start with the child’s normal food intake slowly.
After 24 hours to 48 hours:
After the child starts recovering and having the normal food, the stool formation may still take more 7 days. The child’s bowel system starts working again and may take a few days to get stable.
Precautionary steps and emergency solutions
Apart from the healthy healing process we adopt, there are a lot of factors people consider taking through home solutions for a better healing. Although they might seem safe, they may sometimes make the situation worse for your baby.
- Do not give your baby sugary drinks like canned juices and soft drinks for better digestion. Avoid those broth and rice water as they do not have the right mix of sugary, salty and water effects.
- Do not resort to giving only water when the baby has diarrhea. Try to give some food and ORS to restore the salt and sugar requirements too. Drinking only water may lead to low blood sugar, or sodium levels in blood.
If somehow the situation seems uncontrollable for you and you are not able to understand the right thing, consult your doctor without wasting time. The common situations where you should rush to doctor are:
- Your baby is less than 6 months and ha diarrhea
- Vomits blood
- Is vomiting for 4 hours or more
- The fever with diarrhea is near 101.5 degrees
- Has bloody or black stools
- It’s been a week and not over