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Let's Talk Health

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Introducing Let's Talk Health, an initiative from Apollo Hospitals, where our endeavor is to share knowledge which you can use to keep yourself and your family fit & healthy.

Let's Talk Health.
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in Child & Care

Know all about Infant diarrhoea

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Have you heard of infant diarrhoea? Know that it is different from pooping as often as after every feeding which is normal for babies. The stool quality is typically soft if the baby is breastfed. After the introduction of solids, the baby stool firms up a bit and the texture may change from time to time depending on the digestion and tolerance levels.

Any change of diaper more than 5 times a day where the stool is softer, dark or light green in color and watery than normal with the baby seeming tired and dehydrated, means a bout of infant diarrhoea. There are different levels of dehydration which can be serious and fatal for the baby. At any cost, the baby should be given plenty of fluids to compensate for the electrolyte loss.

Diarrhoea can be due to any of the following reasons –

  • A viral infection caused by rotavirus, adenovirus, calicivirus, astrovirus, and influenza. Diarrhoea due to viral infection will be accompanied by vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, chills and body pain.
  • A bacterial infection like salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, campylobacter, or E. Coli. Diarrhoea due to bacterial infection is usually accompanied by cramps, blood in the stool and fever.
  • Ear infection which makes the baby irritable and fussy, prone to vomiting and cold, poor appetite and diarrhoea bouts.
  • Parasitic infections like Giardiasis and accompanying symptoms could be gas, bloating, greasy stools and diarrhoea.
  • After a course of antibiotics which kills off good bacteria in the intestines along with the problem-causing bacteria.
  • Too much fruit juice containing sorbitol and high levels of fructose or too many sweetened drinks.
  • Improperly mixed formula.
  • Food allergens like eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
  • Food intolerance like towards Cow’s milk.
  • Poisoning.

Treatment and first aid of baby diarrhoea is very simple –

  • Keep the baby hydrated with fluids – like water, or a pediatric electrolyte solution.
  • Avoid all forms of sweetened drinks, sugar water and undiluted fruit juices. Sugar worsens the diarrhoea.
  • Feed healthy balanced meals to the baby to restore the essential nutrients needed to fight the infection. There is nothing to worry if the baby refuses to eat. Just keep the baby hydrated well.
  • Increase yogurt intake to improve the good bacteria in the gut.
  • Change diapers frequently with lot of cuddle and care, tenderness and diaper rash cream.
  • No over-the-top medication without the doctor’s prescription.
  • Call the doctor immediately if the diarrhoea baby is less than 3 months old or has vomited many times, has high fever, has blood in his stool or black stool, is thoroughly dehydrated with a dry mouth without a wet diaper in the last 6 hours and has cried without tears.

The only way to keep babies from getting diarrhoea is by maintaining supreme hygiene while handling soiled diapers or toys or objects scattered in the room. Washing hands with a disinfectant thoroughly and effectively is the key besides practising safe food preparation and cooking techniques.

 

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