Diarrhea in Children: Prevention and Treatment

Most kids present diarrhea from time to time. It can last for a couple of days or longer. Moms feel irritated to see their baby or child annoyed by the frequent runny and watery bowel movement. Diarrhea can be mild and can be dangerous if not treated. It can incite dehydration which can lead to hospitalization.

What causes diarrhea?
-    Viruses as rotavirus
-    Bacteria as Salmonella or shigella
-    Food poisoning
-    Parasites
-    Water supply contamination
-    Lactose intolerance
-    Celiac disease
-    Medicine reaction

How does diarrhea spread?
-    Dirty hands
-    Contaminated food or water
-    Contaminated surfaces which include toys, tables, and toilet seats.

What are diarrhea’s symptoms?
-    Abdominal cramps
-    Frequent bowel movement
-    Watery stool
-    Loss of appetite
-    Fever
-    Nausea and vomiting
-    Weigh loss
-    Dehydration
-    Blood or mucus in the stool

Tips to handle diarrhea:

No mom will like seeing her child having diarrhea, but you should know that it is impossible to prevent any contamination especially if your child is attending school or nursery. There are some tips that you can apply to decrease the risk of contamination:

-    Insist on washing hands especially after playing outside in the garden or after coming from school/nursery and before any contact with food.
-    Keep your child’s nails away from his mouth.
-    Keep bathroom surfaces clean and hygienic.
-    Keep your kitchen surfaces clean especially where you prepare food.  Clean after contact with raw meat or poultry.
-    Wash very well fruits and vegetables under running water.
-    Teach your child to never drink from springs, lakes or taps.
-    When diarrhea occurs, continue to feed your baby in small amount.
-    Give more liquids to replace the lost ones.
-    Use an ORS (Oral rehydration solution) under medical prescription.
-    Avoid sugary food as fruit juice or sweetened tea, fat food and milk products. You can offer your child some blended food as boiled potatoes, starch, cooked carrots, steamed rice and toast.

Always remember that diarrhea is common between kids. The most important is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Call your doctor if your child shows signs of dehydration, fever or blood in the stool. He might need in this case medication.