Diarrhoea, more commonly known as loose motions, is when your child’s motions are exactly that, loose and watery. This is a common problem with children and is not actually a cause for alarm. However, regular bouts of diarrhoea can sometimes lead to further problems.
Prevention is better than cure so to avoid intestinal infections and diarrhoea, always wash all fresh produce before eating it. Ensure that all meats and fish are cooked properly and that your water sources are clean.It is advisable to use water purifiers (UV) to process water before consumption. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 5 minutes and then cooling it before consumption is also good enough.Roadside food is best avoided for children and so is tap water. Ensure that if your child is consuming outside food,it is well cooked and steaming hot when served.
The causes for diarrhoea are many – bacterial or viral infections, food intolerances or allergies, reaction to some medication, parasitic infections via food or water, inflamed bowels etc. It usually goes away within three to four days, but anything beyond that should be checked by a doctor. If it’s severe even in the first few days, consult a doctor.
The symptoms for diarrhoea are easy to identify. You will notice either one or a few of these – Cramping, nausea, fever, bloated stomach, upset stomach, abdominal pain, dehydration or bloody stools.
Diarrhoea can cause dehydration, so the first thing one needs to do is to ensure that the child is getting adequate liquids. Avoid artificially sweetened juices or fizzy drinks. Water and glucose-electrolyte solutions(ORS) are ideally all that your child should be consuming. Warm and semi-solid rice based food helps in earlier recovery from diarrhoea.
Watch out for danger signs. Presence of these indicate you need to visit a doctor
1.Watery and fowl smelling stools which are large in quantity
2.Urine very dark yellow and passing less urine
4.High grade fever
5.Decreased activity and decreased playfulness,dull child
6.Child excessively sleepy
If your child has severe diarrhoea, or the illness lasts beyond three days, then please see a doctor immediately.