Baby Diarrhoea

Baby Diarrhoea 3

Frequent, slimy, large stools, which may be yellow, white or greenish in colour or, if the diet is mixed, brownish, may be a sign of diarrhoea.

The most common cause of diarrhoea in bottle fed babies is gastroenteritis, an infectious disease which causes the death of thousands of children every year, particularly in hot climates. Besides having frequent stools the baby may vomit, thus increasing the risk of fatal dehydration. The front fontanelle may become sunken, the child will lose mass and the skin will lose its elasticity.

Because gastroenteritis is highly infectious and easily spread by flies or germs in the stools, it is vital to maintain strict hygiene when handling your baby.

If your child shows signs of gastroenteritis by diarrhoea and vomiting, take her off all milk feeds because they can aggravate the problem (your doctor may put her on a special milk for use in diarrhoea). However, until then she must replace the liquid she is losing. You can do this by giving her a solution that will replace the liquid and minerals necessary to keep the body fluids balanced. Known as electrolyte solutions (Darrowped), they can be bought without prescription from your chemist and given half strength according to the directions. It is also quite easy to make up your own electrolyte solution.

Electrolyte solution

2 litres boiled water (use a large milk bottle as 20 level teaspoons glucose or ordinary sugar 1 level teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and give about 100 often as the baby will take it.

If she refuses it you can flavour it with orange

a measure if necessary)

ml or more every two hours, as squash (not fresh orange).

Dehydration

The important thing is to prevent a child from becoming dehydrated. Children become dehydrated more quickly than adults because they have comparatively greater fluid needs and their body surface area is relatively larger than that of an adult. It is extremely important for all children with severe diarrhoea to be seen by a doctor, but if this is not immediately possible, quarter strength formula can be reintroduced after 24 to 48 hours on the electrolyte fluid mixture (Dar-rowped). If there is no improvement in the childs condition after 24 hours and there is vomiting as well, hospitalisation may be necessary.

Baby Diarrhoea

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