When a child has diarrhoea, parents will do anything to help make it go away. Diarrhoea is a common ailment that can be cured at home without a doctor's assistance. Diarrhoea can be caused by many things such as change of diet or a bacteria or virus. Most diarrhoea cases will resolve within a week, so if the child continues to have diarrhoea after home treatment for longer than a week, contact a physician.
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Seek the cause of the diarrhoea. Has the child had a change in diet or been exposed to others who may have a virus? Remove all bedding and toys from the child's room and clean them with thoroughly to help stop recontamination if diarrhoea is thought to be due to a virus or bacteria. Also clean bottles and pacifiers. Even if a change of diet is the culprit, it is a good idea to clean items the child has been in contact with.
Keep the child hydrated. According to Dr. Alan Greene, breast milk is beneficial in preventing diarrhoea, so continue nursing if at all possible. Otherwise, provide babies bottles of formula. Dr. Greene suggests using a soy-based formula, as it contains fibre, which helps slow diarrhoea. Hydrating with an oral rehydration solution will also replenish fluids.
Provide small amounts of solid foods such as carrots, rice cereal, bananas, applesauce and potatoes to aid in slowing stools. Feed after 7 to 12 hours of oral rehydration. Fruit juices are not recommended.
Introduce foods containing fibre, such as whole-wheat cereals, when the child's bowels begin to return to normal. This will help continue healthy bowel movements. The additional fibre will absorb extra fluid in the bowels.
Avoid giving medications when dealing with diarrhoea. According to familydoctor.org, medications may interfere with the body's abilities to heal itself.
Tips and warnings
- Another soothing food option for children with diarrhoea is yoghurt containing live and active cultures. The yoghurt will provide the stomach and intestines with healthy bacteria, which aid in restoring a healthy balance to the child's stomach and bowels.
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