Every parent should have the basic understating of infant diarrhea and its remedial measures, because at any given time this knowledge will be of help for them as well as for the baby. Infant diarrhea is a commonly occurring childhood problem and it is serious as well, especially for children below the age of 2 years.
Diarrhea in infants can be defined as loose, watery, unformed and frequent stools that occur more than three times in a day. A baby who passes more than once after each feeding is also suspected to have diarrhea.
There are many reasons for diarrhea in infants; they can be due to a virus or bacterial infection, a simple dietary change (even change in mother’s diet can affect a breast fed infant), an infant taking antibiotic, or in many cases the cause can be dentition. No matter what the cause is, if you are suspecting diarrhea, it is necessary to consult the pediatrician.
Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Infants
As infant is below the age of one year, he is not able to talk or communicate properly with his parents; it becomes more difficult for parents and the pediatrician to understand him. However, following symptoms of diarrhea and associated symptoms can reveal how grave the condition is.
The first and foremost symptom is frequent watery stools; they are more often than normal, cramps in abdomen at frequent interval that makes the child cry loudly. Vomiting, fever, reduced activity, loss of weight, decreased intake of food. During this period the child turns more cranky and fussy; the child always wants to be carried.
If dehydration is severe, the skin loses its elasticity, and the hands and feet turn cold. The child feels very weak and is unable to cry loudly, he may find difficulty in holding his head. The child may not pass urine. These are the symptoms of severe dehydration.
It is important for the parents to prevent severe dehydration in their child, and therefore continuous monitoring has to be done for few days until the number of watery stools becomes less.
Home Remedies For Diarrhea In Toddlers
- In case of diarrhea in infants, a pediatric check up is absolute necessity to know the severity of the disease. In case if the child has mild diarrhea, a simple ORS (oral rehydration solution) may be necessary. To prepare one glass of ORS at home you need to a glass of pure water, a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of sugar. Mix all the ingredients and feed the child as many times as possible. Commercially prepared ORS is also available.
- If the infant is breast fed, mother should continue breast feeding. It will help to hydrate the child as well the immunoglobulin from breast milk will help to protect the child from infection.
- If the infant is taking solid and semisolid food, give him mashed banana, rice cereal, potatoes, mashed apple or apple juice, pomegranate juice, yogurt etc. They are easy for digestion and can be made instantly at home. All these foods help to solidify the stools.
- Avoid heavy foods, milk and milk products for few days, except breast milk which can be given as many times the infant wants. Try to feed the child frequently but lesser quantity.
- Consult a pediatrician if diarrhea is associated with fever for more than a day or two with continuous vomiting, dry mouth and presence of pus or green stool.