Diarrhea is difined either as liquid stool or increased frequency (or both) per day when compared to a normal amount. It is very common problem in children.
Diarrhea may be Acute or Chronic, Acute diarrhea lasts less than one week and no longer than 14 days.
Sometimes your child may have other symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain and cramps
- Stool with mucous and blood
If diarrhea is not managed properly it can be dangerous for your child because it drains water and salts from body. If your doctor do not replaced these fluids quickly, your child can become dehydrated and your child may need to be hospitalized.
What factors causes diarrhea?
- Bacterial infection- vibrio cholera, shigella,E.colli
- Viral infection-Rota virus, Influenza virus
- Food intolerance
- Paracites-Giardia, Amoeba,thredworms
- Irritable Bowel Syndrom
- Inflamatory Bowel disease
- Malabsorption syndroms
Dehydration means that a child’s body lacks enough fluid. when your children have diarrhea, they can lose large amounts of water and salts from their body. They may become dehydrated more quickly.
How to diagonose dehydration?
Call your doctor if your child suffers from following signs-
- Sucken eyes
- Decreased frequency of urination
- Sucken soft spot on the front of the head in babies
- No tears when child cry
- Dry or sticky mucous membranes
- Increased thirst
- Grayish skin
- Faster heart beat
How to manage dehydration?
Plan-“A” for ‘No’ dehydration
This management can be successfully carried out at home, by mother or caretaker
- ORS or other ORT fluids are to be given as per advice Continue feeding
- Bring the child back after two days, or earlier if he has any of the danger signs like
(a) Increased volume or frequency of stools, repeated vomiting.
(b) Increased thirst, irritation or restlessness, fever.
(c) Blood in stool, refusal to feed, lethargic.
Plan-“B” for ‘Some’ dehydration
- These cares need to be treated in a health centre or hospital.
- While transporting,ORT must be promptly started and continued.
*Fluid requirement is calculated as per,
(a) Normal daily fluid requirement
(b) Give 50-75 ml per kg per body weight in first five hours.
(c) Deficit replacement or rehydration therepy.
(d) Maintain fluid therepy to compensate losses.
Plan-“C” for ‘Severe’ dehydration
Quikly rehydrate the child with I.V. Fluid Therepy.
- Ringer’s Lactate with 5% dextrose.
- Normal saline or plain Ringer solution may be used.
- 5% dextrose alone is not effective.
- A total of 100 ml per kg of fluid is given over six hours in a children less than 12 months and over 3 hours in children greater than 12 months.
- ORS solution to be started simultaneously if the child take orally.
By: Dr. Ranjeet Singh