Diarrhea in Children

December 02, 2017 08:39 PM

Diarrhea is a frequent condition for young children, resulting from factors such as cold weather, medications or even the diet.

Diarrhea is commonly characterized by a liquid loose stool, often resulting in the child going to the toilet many times a day (up to six times or more, depending on the intensity of the diarrhea).  Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and a high fever.

Children can lose a significant amount of fluid once they have diarrhea, making them susceptible to dehydration. Therefore, if your child has diarrhea, focus on increasing his water intake to recover some of the fluid loss and to avoid dehydration.

 

Common Causes of Diarrhea in Children: 

  • Food poisoning and bacterial infections.
  • Medications, including antibiotics, as they can affect the good bacteria in the intestines, resulting in diarrhea.
  • Some viral infections such as the rotavirus, which usually infects children under the age of five.
  • Parasitic infections such as Giardiasis can cause a mild diarrhea.
  • Some diseases, such as an ear, throat or urine infection.

 

Preventing Dehydration:

The most important action a mother should take if her child has a severe case of diarrhea is to keep his body from dehydrating. Dehydration is a side effect of diarrhea and can lead to serious complications, such as dizziness and palpitations. If you notice these symptoms, you should immediately go to the hospital in order to take precautionary measures to avoid harm to your child.

 

Treating Your Child’s Diarrhea:  

  • Increase the water and fluid intake for your child, especially with fresh fruit juices, to prevent dehydration.
  • Feed your child yogurt, as it is rich in good bacteria and will reduce the side effects of diarrhea.
  • Feed your child carbohydrate rich foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, and bananas to reduce side effects.
  • If your child is suffering from severe diarrhea caused by a viral infection, the doctor should prescribe antibiotics and medication to treat the fever.
  • Avoid sweetened and artificial foods during this period, as this is crucial to speed up the healing process.
  • Probiotic supplements are recommended to prevent diarrhea, as they support the good bacteria in the intestines.

 

If your child’s symptoms persist for more than three days and are accompanied by an extremely high fever (more than 39 degrees Celsius), dehydration, fatigue, and a severe stomachache, you should go to the hospital immediately.

 

References:

http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.sickkids.ca/Learning/AbouttheInstitute/Programs/AboutKidsHealth/index.html

http://www.webmd.com/

http://www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx