Digestion, Infant and Children | July 25, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist
Vomiting and diarrhoea in infants is something that no parent wants to face, but inevitably must at some point in time. It is helpful to have an understanding of the common causes of these conditions and know the management principles that can help alleviate symptoms and stress. The simple fact of the matter is that vomiting and diarrhoea are common childhood conditions. Typically, vomiting will only last around seventy-two hours, while diarrhoea can last up to one to two weeks. Occasionally, a baby will have loose stool. This is especially true for breastfed babies as opposed to those that are fed formula. However, diarrhoea is defined as a watery, unformed stool that occurs frequently.
The cause of this condition can vary, but commonly includes:
Diarrhoea that is accompanied by vomiting is often the result of an infection, which is known as gastroenteritis. The cause of this infection is most commonly a virus. Formula-fed infants are more susceptible to contracting a virus than a baby who is breastfed.
The reason for this is that a baby can lose excessive amounts of fluid from their tiny little bodies, which can quickly lead to serious dehydration.
When an infant is suffering from dehydration, they may become irritable or lethargic.
Additional symptoms of dehydration include:
When an infant becomes dehydrated, additional fluids are essential. Oral rehydration fluids are available from pharmacies which will help to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. If the infant has experienced six or more watery stools over the last twenty-four hours or vomited more than three times over the same period, replacing the lost fluid may be difficult. In such cases, medical attention should be considered.
Urgent medical attention is necessary if the infant displays any of the following symptoms, such as:
If your infant is vomiting or has diarrhoea, you can do a number of things on your own to manage the condition, these include:
Practice good personal hygiene
The most important thing to do when your baby is ill is to make sure he or she is getting plenty of fluids. Vomiting and diarrhoea is a common condition which all parents should be educated on in order to ensure the overall health and wellbeing of their child.
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NHS Choices, Health A-Z, Pregnancy and Baby, Diarrhoea and Vomiting in Children