Diarrhea is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. Vomiting and Diarrhea may be caused by foods that are hard for your child to digest (such as sugar or by bacteria in undercooked meat). The main complication of diarrhea is dehydration and electrolyte imbalances due to the loss of fluids so if your baby or child is experiencing this, parents like us should better monitor our child condition to avoid dehydration.
I would like to share these simple information for all especially parents for our awareness in taking care of our little ones.
Signs of dehydration:
- dry mouth
- dry rough skin
- pale skin color especially in palms
- loss of appetite
- sunken fontanelle (soft spot) in babies (It is normal for babies to have a slightly depressed fontanelle, so this sign is only helpful if you know what is normal for your child.)
- reduced urine production
To prevent dehydration, it is better to give your child Oral Rehydration Solution/ Salts like Pedialyte. Pedialyte 45 helps manage mild to moderate dehydration while Pedialyte 90 is for moderate to severe dehydration. Pedialyte 45 is available in unflavored, fruit and bubble gum flavors so your child will surely like it.
Foods to feed when your child has a diarrhea
When our child has a diarrhea, we should give them bland foods for the first 24 hours. These foods are not chemically or mechanically irritating, no-gas causing foods (beans, broccoli, cabbage, etc.), nothing fried or high fat, no pepper or spice and low fiber. Avoid foods with lots of sugar and fats. It’s best to avoid dairy products for 3 to 7 days.
- Fresh Bananas
- Fresh Apple
- saltine crackers
- rice or porridge
- Baked/ roasted chicken
When to call for doctor?
If your baby or child has a diarrhea accompanied by a high fever of more than 38.5 degrees Celsius, had abdominal pain for more than 2 hours, had blood in his stools or in her/his vomit, unusually sleepy it is best to call your doctor about it. You may also observe the color of the stool if it is greenish that may be signs for protozoal/bacterial infection or the worst Amebiasis. It is recommended to have the stool for a laboratory examination for proper diagnosis by the doctor.
How to prevent diarrhea?
A clean environment and good sanitation will prevent diarrhea. Most infections that cause diarrhea are caused by a virus found in feces. We can help prevent infection by disposing of dirty diapers properly and by washing your hands after changing a diaper or going to the bathroom. We have to make sure that our child washes his or her hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom or after picking up dirty things.
——-My next post will be about Amebiasis (signs and treatment )