Gastroenteritis is the digestive disorder that children suffer most. And, although in most cases you refer with some home care, it is very important to monitor the situation to avoid possible complications. Knowing the most frequent symptoms is the key to be able to act as soon as possible. Even, appreciating the first symptoms and knowing how to act can make a difference.
Since in many cases, it is normal that we do not know how to differentiate a digestive infection from poor digestion. However, the way we act in the early moments is very similar. Below we will review the common symptoms of gastroenteritis in children, as well as the basic care that the little one needs to recover quickly.
What is gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is a digestive condition, which is caused by inflammation of the wall lining the stomach and intestines. The main symptom of gastroenteritis is the appearance of diarrhea, usually in a sharp form. This may be accompanied by abdominal pain, fever or vomiting. Gastroenteritis usually heal on its own after a few days, although it can last for more than 15 days.
The causes of gastroenteritis can be diverse, although in children, it usually occurs by a viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes it can also be produced by an intestinal parasite, but it is not very common in children. Although in most cases it is a minor disorder, in children under two years of age it is the main cause of hospitalization in children, mainly due to the known rotavirus.
Basic care for a child with gastroenteritis
The main risk of gastroenteritis in childrenis that frequent and watery stools can quickly lead to dehydration. Therefore, the first care we should have with the child as soon as the first symptoms appear, is to make sure that the little one takes enough fluid. In no case should the child be forced to drink water, but offer it every time a deposition occurs, in small sips and often.
You can also use an alkaline solution, or a serum preparation that can be purchased without a prescription from the pharmacy. These preparations also come with built-in flavor and in the canita contains probiotics, which act as a restorative of the intestinal flora. In no case are isotonic drinks, juices or carbonated drinks recommended, as they contain large amounts of sugar.
Should the child make a special diet?
As the first basic care, what is recommended is that the child’s diet be gentle, but not necessarily astringent. What is advisable is to avoid very fatty foods, cooked with a lot of fat or that may be heavy. You can give grilled fish, boiled rice with carrots, carrot cream or roasted apple.
In the case of infants, under the age of two, gastroenteritis can become complicated and aggravated in a very short time. Therefore, it is advisable to go to the pediatrician’s office as soon as possible. What is recommended in these cases is that breastfeeding be continued, since the mother’s milk contains the water and nutrients necessary to keep the child hydrated.
When to go to the doctor
Symptoms of gastroenteritis can be lengthened for several days, even more than two weeks. However, bowel movements should be spaced once basic care and change in feeding are started. Therefore, if after the first hours, bowel movements are very frequent , and the child does not retain even the fluid he takes, you should quickly go to the pediatrician’s consultation.
You should also see other symptoms that may be a warning signal for a more serious infection, such as blood in your stool or high fever. Other features you should observe are those related to dehydration, such as dry lips. Finally, if you notice that your child has difficulty breathing or the pulse very fast, you should go to emergency services as quickly as possible.