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Diarrhea is never a pleasant experience especially for children. Thankfully, diarrhea does not last long. Loose common stools are the most recognizable symptom of diarrhea. This can often be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, cramps and dehydration. If your child also suffers from fever and weight loss or can see bloody mucus in their stool, you should contact your doctor at the earliest.
Some of the common causes of diarrhea in children are:
- Gastrointestinal infections - Viruses like rotavirus and parasites like giardia are the most common causes of diarrhea in children. This type of diarrhea can last from 5 to 14 days and can be cured with the help of laxatives and antibiotics.
- Food poisoning - Diarrhea caused by food poisoning usually lasts for not longer than 24 hours.
- Food allergies - Diarrhea is a common symptom of a food allergy. It usually stops once you stop eating whatever you are allergic to.
- Crohn's disease - This is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive system. With Crohn's disease, the loose stool is often accompanied by blood.
- Celiac disease - If your body cannot digest gluten, you may be suffering from Celiac disease.
Diarrhea is highly contagious. It can spread through:
- Dirty hands
- Contaminated food or water
- Direct contact with fecal matter
- Touching a contaminated surface
- Diarrhea on its own is not a very serious issue. However, it may cause dehydration which can lead to a number of further complications. Some of the signs of dehydration cased by diarrhea are dizziness, dry mouth, dark urine, dry skin and lack of energy. Thus if your child is suffering from diarrhea, give him plenty of water and lots of rest.
To protect your child against diarrhea, all you need are a few lifestyle Ensure your child washes their hands well before and after-
Caring for Your Child at Home:
- Make washing hands after using the toilet a part of toilet
- Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids.
- Do not feed them foods that seem to trigger diarrhea.
- Wash your hands often, especially after each diaper change, to avoid spreading bacteria in the home.
- You should continue breast-feeding when your baby has diarrhea. Breast milk can help ease symptoms of diarrhea and speed up recovery.
- Continue your child's regular diet and give more liquids to replace those lost while the diarrhea continues if there are no signs of dehydration.
- Use an oral rehydration solution (ORS) to replace lost fluids in non-dehydrated children.
- Keep all bathroom surfaces clean. It is also a good idea to flush the toilet only after the lid has been lowered.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating
- Wash all utensils that have come in contact with raw meat well before using them for anything else.
- Keep all raw meats refrigerated or frozen. Once meat has been defrosted, do not freeze the raw meat again.
- Food cooked like boiled, fried or those which can be peeled e.g. boiled egg, banana, orange, boiled rice, etc. can be eaten when out of home.
- Teach your child to only drink from purified sources of water.
- Do not wash pet utensils in the same sink used for cooking vessels and food items.
- Keep an eye on what your child eats to heck if they may be allergic to anything.