Diarrhea is when your child begins to pass loose and watery stools. The most common causes of diarrhea are food-borne illnesses. In older children, anxiety may cause diarrhea.
You can prevent diarrhea in your children by following these steps:
- Teach your child proper hygiene. Encourage him or her to wash their hands after playing outside and with pets and after using the bathroom. Encourage hand washing before meals.
- To protect your child you must learn to not only wash your hands when you got to the restroom but to wash your hands each time you change your baby’s diapers.
- Wash your hands before preparing food and formula for your child. Wash the fruits and vegetables before serving to your child.
If your child gets diarrhea it is important, keep him or her hydrated at the first sign. Serve plenty of clear liquids. If you breastfed continue to nurse your child. This includes gelatin clear broth (no meat or vegetables in it), ginger ales, and sports drinks. Sports drinks may be helpful because of the added sugar and salt.
You can make your own by adding a teaspoon of salt and four teaspoons of sugar to every 16 ounces of water. Avoid giving this solution, ginger ale, and sports drinks to children under the age of two. Consult your pediatrician before giving these drinks. It may also help to avoid juices that may promote a laxative effect on your child. This means to avoid prune and apple juice.
Avoid the following foods when your child is having bouts with diarrhea: Sweetened foods (Snack foods such as pudding), Canned foods, Ice Cream, and Sherbet.
It may be effective to remove solid foods temporarily from your child’s diet. Clear broth, soup, and Gelatin can substitute for solid food until the situation clears up. You may also include starchy foods such as breads and cereal.
Wash your hands. This will prevent you from getting diarrhea as well as prevent other children in your household from getting. It will also prevent you from reinfecting your child.
Some doctors and dietitians suggest that you give your child the BRAT diet when they get diarrhea. This consists of Bananas, Rice, Apples (not juice or sweetened applesauce), and Toast. These foods are easy for your child to digest.
If these suggestions do not help in the treatment of your child, you should contact a pediatrician. You should also call if your child suffers from any of the
- Abdominal Distention
- Weight Loss
- Absence of urination for at least eight hours
- Abnormal fatigue
- Blood in the stool
- Did it last more than 2 weeks?
You should also contact a physician if your child suffers from symptoms of dehydration such as: Fatigue, dry mouth, chapped lips, and decreased wet diapers.
Diarrhea may be one of the normal problems that occur with children but it can be dangerous. The most common side effect of diarrhea in children is not discomfort but dehydration that leads to death if untreated. Be sure to share your concerns with your pediatrician if you have any.Diarrhea