What causes diarrhoea?
The most common cause of diarrhoea is a virus called rotavirus. Nearly all children catch this virus by the time they are five years old. Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis, an infection of the gut. The infection damages the inner lining of the intestine. The injured lining leaks fluid and allows food to pass through without absorbing any nutrients.
Can it be prevented?
Proper hygiene can help reduce the chance of diarrhoea because the micro-organisms which cause it can easily be passed from hand to mouth. So wash your hands thoroughly for at least 15 seconds with an antibacterial soap after handling soiled nappies or using the toilet.
How should I treat it?
If your baby is taking breast or formula feeds well, stick with them. For older babies, you can try sips of water or oral rehydration salt solution (ORS) in addition to their usual breastfeeds or full strength formula feeds.
Toddlers and older children can have well-diluted fruit juices (at least one part juice to 10 parts water). Ice lollies can be useful if your toddler is reluctant to drink. Avoid glucose drinks, fizzy drinks and undiluted fruit juices (unabsorbed sugar draws water into the intestine and can increase diarrhoea).
Do not give anti-diarrhoeal medicine to children under 12 years old, as it could have serious side-effects.
Are breastfed babies less likely to get diarrhoea?
Yes. Certain elements in breastmilk can inhibit the growth of the micro-organisms which cause diarrhoea.
Should I stop giving solid foods?
No. Unless your baby is vomiting frequently, you can still give her solids. If your child is six months or older you could try foods like bananas, rice, apple puree, and dry toast. For an older baby or toddler you could try small amounts of chicken and starchy foods like mashed potatoes and pasta. But don’t worry if she doesn’t want to eat. It’s more important that she drinks to avoid dehydration.
When should I call the doctor?
Diarrhoea can be worrying if it lasts more than a few hours, but it will usually clear up on its own. If your child has loose, watery stools for more than a couple of days, call your doctor. The biggest concern with diarrhoea is dehydration, so don’t delay in calling your paediatrician if your child shows these signs of inadequate fluid intake or fluid loss:
You should also consult your doctor if your child:
These secondary symptoms are uncommon, but they can be cause for concern.
If your baby’s uncomfortable during a bout of diarrhoea, try to cuddle and comfort her as much as possible, and keep her dry. Use care and tenderness when changing nappies since it’s easy for a baby’s bottom to become irritated with diarrhoea. Use a barrier cream to prevent irritation if the diarrhoea lasts more than a day. Rest assured, soon your baby will bounce back.
Sumber : Baby Centre Malaysia