Definition of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a disease that attacks digestion. Diarrhea in children, infants and toddlers is a condition that often occurs. As parents, of course we are worried if diarrhea in children occurs. When a child has diarrhea, the frequency of bowel movements will be more frequent and the stool consistency is thinner than usual.
Diarrhea in children can also cause other symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, cramps and can even result in dehydration.
What causes diarrhea in children?
The things that cause diarrhea in children are very diverse. However, if the child has frequent bowel movements, it is generally caused by the following things:
Not maintaining cleanliness
Children, toddlers and even babies will be more susceptible to diarrhea. This is because children are not trained enough to keep their bodies clean. Children at an early age still do not really understand the importance of maintaining body hygiene. It is very likely that the bacteria that cause diarrhea will enter the child’s body through dirty fingers.
This can happen, because small children tend to be very active in using their hands for activities. Activities carried out such as thumb sucking, grasping toys, biting nails, picking up food, and even crawling on the floor. In addition, the reflex of children who have the habit of holding dirty diapers when in the bathroom is a cause of diarrhea. The bacteria that cause diarrhea can move into the body, when the child enters foreign objects and sucks them into the mouth.
Hands will house hundreds or even thousands of bacteria that cause diarrhea. Bacteria that can cause diarrhea include salmonella, shigella, and E coli. While the virus that generally causes diarrhea is the rotavirus. Children have a high risk of being infected with bacteria that cause diarrhea.
This is because bacteria that cause diarrhea will easily infect someone who has a weak immune system.
Some cases of children who get diarrhea are caused by food poisoning. This condition can be greater if the symptoms of diarrhea are accompanied by vomiting. Diarrhea is very easy to attack children through food and drinks contaminated with bacteria. This condition generally subsides on its own, in about 24 hours.
Take certain drugs
The habit of consuming certain drugs, such as antibiotics and laxatives, can cause diarrhea. If antibiotics are the cause of diarrhea, you should consult your doctor.
If your child has an allergy to certain foods, diarrhea is more prone to occur. There are many types of foods that can cause allergies. These foods include:
- Dairy products, including cheese, butter, milk cream and ice cream.
In infants who are breastfeeding, the children will be infected from the food their mother consumes. Protein contained in the mother’s food will be absorbed into breast milk and enter the baby’s body.
Certain health conditions
The child suffers from such ailments irritable bowel syndrome, crohn, celiac capable of causing diarrhea. These conditions must be immediately examined by a doctor.
Signs and symptoms of diarrhea in children
In general, diarrhea in young children causes symptoms such as frequent bowel movements and frequency of liquid stool. Immediately check the child if other symptoms accompany, such as:
- The child complains of flatulence
- Stomach pain and cramps
- The child’s face looks tired and sluggish
- Lack of appetite
Recognize the symptoms of dehydration in children with diarrhea
Children who experience diarrhea are very susceptible to dehydration. Dehydration during diarrhea, caused by frequent bowel movements that result in the child’s body losing a lot of fluids. In addition to observing the common signs of diarrhea, it is important for parents to recognize signs of dehydration.
Symptoms of diarrhea without dehydration
This condition has not yet reached the dehydration stage. The child also does not show symptoms of dehydration, if the child still asks for water, and the eyes are not sunken.
Symptoms of diarrhea with mild dehydration
When diarrhea has caused mild dehydration, the child will be fussy than usual. The child will ask for a drink constantly, as if thirsty. This condition is characterized by a taste on the skin. You can pinch the width of the child’s stomach, as well as hold it for 30 seconds. You do the pinching only slowly.
If the skin thickens again in one second, the child’s turgor is still good. However, if the child’s turgor returns within 2-5 seconds, then the condition is said to be unfavorable. What is meant by turgor? Turgor is an assessment of the degree of dehydration, from how good the elasticity of the child’s skin is.
Symptoms of diarrhea to severe dehydration
Severe dehydration caused by diarrhea in children. Will make children look weak, tired and lethargic, even lazy to drink. The child’s eyes will appear sunken. You can do a turgor test as described previously.
How to deal with diarrhea
In fact, diarrhea that occurs in children can heal on its own. Starting from one day to two days. Even so, you should not think of diarrhea in one eye. In severe cases, diarrhea can cause death.
There are several ways you can do to solve it. Including the following.
- If the child is still breastfeeding, breastfeed as often as possible. This is done to replace the child’s lost body fluids.
- If the child is not breastfeeding, you can give the child electrolyte fluids. This is done because water alone is not enough to replace potassium, sodium minerals and other lost nutrients.
- Give the child antibiotics as prescribed b
y the doctor. This is very useful for reducing the severity of diarrhea. And prevent diarrhea from recurring.
- Give the child a warm soup, such as chicken soup.
Some foods that children can consume when diarrhea
The choice of food consumed for children must be really healthy. Even more so if the child is experiencing diarrhea. Here are some food choices that you can provide.
- For newborns – 6 months
In children of that age, you are required to breastfeed as often as possible. Do not give the child food or drink other than breast milk.
- For babies aged 6 months and above
You should only give breast milk and complementary foods. Food companion that you can provide is banana porridge.
- For toddlers aged 1 year
You can still give breast milk as the main food. This is accompanied by complementary foods with a mixture of chicken, eggs, fish and vegetables such as broccoli and carrots.
- For toddlers aged 1 – 2 years
It is recommended to continue to be given breast milk accompanied by warm foods such as soup. Avoid foods that contain oil.
- for toddlers aged 2 years and over
You can give children a healthy diet. Healthy foods such as rice, bread, bananas, potatoes and yogurt.
How to prevent diarrhea in children
The risk of diarrhea that occurs in children, can be prevented by the following things.
- Get used to children to wash their hands.
- Keep the bathroom, sink and toilet area clean.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating and processing
- Cook the food until it’s perfectly cooked
- Avoid giving children unsterile drinks
If your child has diarrhea with the above symptoms, you should immediately consult a pediatrician. The doctor will conduct an examination first. Followed by proper handling and treatment. Hope it is useful.