Diarrhea in children.Causes and Treatment


For most parents, when diarrhea affects their babies the first time they get dismayed. This is rightly so because apart from the extra strain it can put on the parent, it can lead to some other serious health complications when adequate care is not given to the child. However the occurrence of diarrhea is a common illness that affects children during infancy and childhood. In most cases, diarrhea occurs mildly and is usually simply taken care of. Where this is not the case and acute diarrhea develops, this can lead to dehydration in children with some serious consequences. When parents get to know the symptoms of diarrhea, they are better able to cope with it when it occurs in their children.

There are many new entrants in the parenthood circle that mistake bowel movement for diarrhea. The formation of the stool that a baby passes will be largely determined by the type of food with which he is fed. Babies that are fed on breast milk will usually pass stools that are soft or seedy, yellow in color and frequently watery while those that are formula-fed will more likely pass soft stools which are more formed and which may be brown, green, yellow or a variation between these colors.

Some parents erroneously believe with about four or five bowel movements in aday, diarrhea should be fingered. Such numbers of bowel movements are not strong enough as indications for diarrhea. It is normal for babies to have bowel movements after feeding although there are some babies that can hold these movements for three days. The makeup of individual babies differs and this is actually one of the things that the frequency of bowel movements. As a parent you should be more concerned with any observable changes that may occur in the regular patterns that your baby has been showing.

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Some Information about the Causes of Diarrhoea in Children
There are many factors that lead to the outset of diarrhea in children but of all the causes of loose motions, rotavirus appears as the commonest. This virus causes the damage when it infects the guts of children leading to gastroenteritis. The inner lining of the intestine is damaged by this virus and this causes the leaking of fluid and the passage of food before they get absorbed. It is usual to find children getting infected with this virus about two or three times before they turn five. At the stage when babies begin to crawl at about 6 to 12 months, the maintenance of hygiene is difficult and they usually more likely to catch this virus during this period.

• Formula Feeds and Food Poisoning
Diarrhea may be caused by the formula food to babies. This may happen if the formula feeds are not diluted as recommended by the manufacturers or doctor. With formula feeds, there are usually plans for feeding babies that come with them to help guide parents when preparing them for their babies. As much as possible, contamination of baby formula feeds and utensils used for feeding generally should be prevented. Without doing this, it is very easy to contaminate your baby’s feed. Food poisoning may occur as a result of this which can lead to serious consequences.

• Antibiotics and Allergies
Children are still not strong enough to ward off every infection that comes their way. They often react to certain foods and even environments through the movement of their bowels. The use of antibiotics in children should never be without the prescription of a medical doctor. There have been cases of children who react to antibiotics. Even adults are not left out of this but the situation could be more pronounced in children than adults.

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• Other Causes
Some of the other causes of diarrhea in children include colds and at times enzyme deficiencies may also lead to this condition although this only occurs in rare cases.

• Symptoms of Diarrhoea
The sudden change in the stool your child gives to stools that are more watery and loose coupled with an increase in the frequency the child observes bowel movements are indications that he may be suffering from diarrhea.

• Treatment That May Be Given To Diarrhoea In Children
Let your child take plenty of fluids so as to prevent or stop dehydration. If you observe that it was after switching diet that the situation occurred, it may be advisable to revert to the old diet and where it is necessary the new diet should be introduced then a gentler approach should be used. Anti-diarrhea medicines should not be given to children below the age of 12 so you may need to consult your pediatrician is the situation persists.