Gastroenteritis

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is marked by sudden frequent, loose stools movements. If your child has three or more watery bowel movements in a day, he or she may be experiencing diarrhea.  

What Causes Diarrhea?

  • Infections by bacteria, viruses or parasites. 
  • Intolerance to cow’s milk
  • Food intolerance eg excessive intake of fruit juices
  • Reaction to medication such as antibiotics
  • illness such as intestinal disorder

What are the accompanying symptoms?

In addition to loose watery stools, your child may experience other symptoms such as

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • A low fever
  • Loss of appetite

If the symptoms persist beyond more than 24 hours, please consult your doctor. 

Information from Abbott

What should you do when your child experiences vomiting and diarrhoea???? 

download

 

  • The most important thing is to stop nausea and vomiting. Administer the anti-nausea syrup (dimenate) as directed by your doctor. Wait for an hour before administering small amounts of water or electrolytes. (small mouthful each time, but multiple times)

afp20110801p299-f1

 Stool reference chart

 Adapted from Lewis SJ, Heaton KW. Stool form scale as a useful guide to intestinal transit time. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997;32(9):921.

  • After the nausea and vomiting subsides, try drinking sips of fluids (rice water, apple juice, clear soup, soya milk) followed by porridge, white bread, buns, digestive biscuits, blended veggies and tofu for at least 3 days.

 

  • Avoid oily food, fried meat, milk (yoghurt, cheese), glutinous rice – food that take longer time to digest. (If the child insists on drinking milk, attempt to dilute with soya bean milk or give a more diluted milk)

 

  • Do seek early medical attention if there are the following symptoms loss of weight, poor appetite,  dry mouth or tongue, thirsty, dry doughy skin, fever more than 38.5C, persistent vomiting for more than 8 hours, blood in the diarrhoea or abdominal pain for more than 2 hours, excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.

 

  • Nausea and vomiting can be dangerous for young children. It is important to maintain hydration, pay attention to hygiene and hand washing as well as taking the medication regularly.