Diarrhea is a common disease among children and occurs most often in the summer. If identified with the right cause, it can be treated easier and faster.
Diarrhea is a common disease among children and occurs most often in the summer. In the hot season, children often enjoy snacks such as ice cream, syrup, shaved ice... to cool down. However, most of these snacks are not hygienic and are the culprit causing diarrhea in children.
Diarrhea happens when infants have 2 bowel movements in a day, while with older children, they have more than 3 bowel movements per day with loose or watery stools.
Diarrhea is divided into 3 main types:
- Acute diarrhea.
- Persistent diarrhea: When diarrhea persists for 14 days or more.
- Invasive diarrhea with bloody mucus.
Diarrhea in children can appear all year round, but there are two times when children are most susceptible:
- In the hot season: This is a time with favorable conditions for bacteria to grow more. Along with that is the habit of eating out more often, so susceptible to bacterial diarrhea.
- In the cold season: At this time, most families are usually in the house, crowded, this will help the virus spread. Therefore, children are also susceptible to viral outbreaks of diarrhea, especially due to Rotavirus.
Some of the common reasons for children to have diarrhea include: viral infections like rotavirus, bacteria like Salmonella and, more rarely, parasitic infections like Giardia. Viruses are the most common cause of diarrhea in children.
Some other causes include:
- Children with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, Celiac disease or food allergy.
- Children use antibiotics for a long time
- Children's diet is not appropriate, not suitable for their age.
Typically, the most common symptom of diarrhea in children is loose stools 3 or more times a day.
However, depending on the cause of the disease, the affected child may have symptoms such as:
- Bloody stools
- Loss of control of intestinal motility
- Pain or cramps in the abdomen
- It doesn't taste good
Parents should pay special attention to these 3 things, along with the risks of diarrhea in children including:
- Bottle-feeding is not hygienic: This increases the risk of diarrhea many times more than babies who are completely or not bottle-fed.
- Improper feeding for children: Such as giving food to cook for a long time at room temperature or contaminated food before and after processing.
- Due to unclean drinking water (such as water that has not been boiled or boiled but left for long) or the domestic water is contaminated.
- Due to infected equipment or hands handling food.
- Due to improper handling of contaminated waste, due to the notion that feces of children are not as dirty as those of adults.
- Do not have a habit of washing hands after going to the toilet, before preparing food and before feeding children.
Diarrhea in children causes dehydration and electrolyte dehydration, so the treatment needs to combine rehydration and electrolyte rehydration with the treatment of the cause.
- If your baby is an infant or young child, it may be offered additional breast milk or oral rehydration solution (ORS). Regular drinking water will not provide enough substances such as sodium, potassium and other nutrients to safely rehydrate children. Ideally, parents should consult a doctor to know how much water is best for children and how to prevent dehydration.
- Older children who have diarrhea can drink anything to provide water, including ORS and other water supply products.
- Do not skip meals: Although the baby may be fussy due to discomfort in the body, abdominal pain, but you still have to make sure they eat a sufficient amount of food every day.
- Supplementing enough vitamins for children: The digestive system disorder has made the body too lacking in substance and tired. Supplementing vitamins and zinc will help the body to be healthier after being sick.
If the cause of your child's diarrhea is caused by medication or other medical conditions, consult a doctor.
When a child with diarrhea can be treated at home, but if he or she finds one of the following signs, seek medical attention immediately:
- Children with high fever do not decrease.
- The child is thirsty, or other signs of dehydration such as:
+ Dry lips.
+ Sunken eyes.
+ Concave fontanel: with children <18 months of age and still young.
+ Babies cry without tears.
+ Children do not urinate in 4-6 hours.
+ Babies fussy about drinking water or packaging.
- The child eats or sucks poorly.
- The child vomits a lot.
- Bloody stools in children
- Diarrhea changes to dysentery.
- Babies are difficult to wake up or have convulsions.
Diarrhea can be dangerous for children if not treated promptly. Therefore, parents should prevent from the beginning rather than seek treatment when their child is sick. What parents can do to prevent diarrhea include:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching infants.
- Monitor your baby's diet, avoid allergens ...
- Hygiene of baby bottles and food containers.
- Regularly clean toys for children.
- Avoid letting children drink lots of juice.
Watch next: Foods You Should and Shouldn't Eat When You Have Diarrhea