Vomiting and diarrhoea in young children, typically the result of a virus, can be worrisome. By recognising the condition early on and by having the tools to stop it on hand, you can prevent your child from growing increasingly ill or dehydrated. Referred to as gastroenteritis, you can best curb the upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhoea through several gentle phases of treatment.
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Things you need
- Solid foods
- Oral rehydration fluids
Allow the child's stomach to settle for 20 to 30 minutes if he vomits two or more times, before trying to fortify the child. Afterward, start providing liquids in small doses on a regular basis.
Breast feed babies for 10 minutes every one to two hours, the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health recommends. If vomiting persists, try feeding for three to four minutes at 30- to 60-minute intervals. Regular feeding can resume when the baby has not thrown up for eight hours.
Ensure your toddler has diarrhoea, as opposed to the loose, frequent stool that is common for babies to expel five to six times per day, before trying to stop it. The best way to slow diarrhoea in young children is with a slight diet change.
According to Baby Center, avoid sugary and high-fat foods. Instead, gradually introduce the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and toast – to your child. Also, lean proteins, low-sugar fruits and general healthful diet selections will typically return the stomach back to normal.
Baby Center also recommends low-sugar yoghurts. Cultured bacteria has been proven to slow down the frequency and duration of diarrhoea.
Administer an oral rehydration solution. The biggest threat for children suffering from gastroenteritis is dehydration. Brands such as Pedialyte, Rehydralyte and the World Health Organization's Oral Rehydration Solution are packed with electrolytes and fortifying nutrients.
Give them to children in small doses at regular intervals, like 1 teaspoon every few minutes. If your child throws up the ORS, wait a few hours before starting to slowly administer more.
Call the doctor if the child is younger than 6 months of age, there is blood in the stool or vomit, the child is in clear discomfort, the child has trouble swallowing or the child is dehydrated.
Ask your doctor about Ondansetron, a medicine typically given to cancer patients to prevent nausea and vomiting. According to Kids Health, the medicine can react with other drugs and parents should have a full understanding of the properties and side effects before giving their child the treatment.
Tips and warnings
- Know the indicators of dehydration in young children. Although gastroenteritis is common in young children and usually treatable at home, knowing the signs of a more serious condition is the best way to prevent an accident. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eye sockets, skin that is cool to the touch or that turns and stays white under light pressure, dry mouth and a lack of tears or urine.
- Bookmarking helpful web sites and tabbing pages in parenting books can help provide quick access to home remedies if your child is prone to gastroenteritis.
- If you cannot purchase oral rehydration fluids in your area, you can make your own from a solution of sugar, salt, water and orange juice.
- Authorities differ on when you should take your child to a health care professional if vomiting and diarrhoea persist. Don’t trust just one – look into many and call a physician if you’re unsure.
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