Tips for Health

Vomiting and Diarrhea: Causes and Risk Factors

By on April 19, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Are vomiting and diarrhea dangerous for children?

Vomiting and diarrhea can be harmful because they can cause dehydration. Dehydration occurs when too much fluid is lost. Young children can become dehydrated very quickly, but dehydration can occur at any age.

What is the cause of vomiting and diarrhea?

Vomiting and diarrhea (frequent loose stools) can be caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Foods that are difficult to digest (such as sweets), and undercooked fish or meat (still partially raw) can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

How can I prevent dehydration?

If your baby or child has had several attacks of vomiting or diarrhea, you need to replace fluids and electrolytes lost.

If you are breastfeeding, continue to give breast milk to your baby. Breast milk has fluids and electrolytes needed to prevent dehydration. It is also possible that your doctor may want to give your baby an oral rehydration solution.

If you feed your baby formula, try switching to one that has no lactose while ill. Lactose can make diarrhea worse. It is also possible that your doctor may suggest switching from formula to ORS for 12 to 24 hours, then return to the formula.

For young children, use an ORS, which contains the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium and other nutrients to help replenish lost body fluids. It is possible for children over 1 year also make soups or clear soda or juice mixed with water to help prevent dehydration. You should avoid giving plain water and dark sodas to your child. Water alone does not contain enough salt or enough nutrients to help with dehydration. Dark sodas are usually very high in sugar and can irritate the stomach of his son.

What is an ORS?

An oral rehydration solution or ORS is an excellent way to replace fluids and nutrients lost through vomiting and diarrhea. An ORS is safe for babies and older children. ORS can occur in several ways, among which is included a powder which is mixed with water, a liquid that is already mixed and frozen popsicles.

ORS brands include Pedialyte, Ricelyte, Rehydralyte and oral rehydration solution of the World Health Organization. You can buy in most grocery stores and pharmacies. If you do not have access to ORS bought in a store, you can mix 8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a quart (4 cups) of water. This mixture lacks potassium but, anyway, is a good ORS. You can provide some potassium adding a cup of orange juice or homemade ORS to give your child a bit of banana.

If your child is vomiting, try giving small amounts of ORS often, such as 1 teaspoon every minute. When your child can keep drinks in the stomach, increase slowly the amount given.

If your child continues to vomit, wait 30 to 60 minutes after the last time you threw up and then let him drink a few sips of ORS. It is possible that small amounts every few minutes are maintained in stomach better than a large quantity at once.

When your child stops vomiting, you could increase the amount of ORS you give each time and add clear broths or clear soda. Remember: small amounts are less likely to cause discomfort in the stomach of his son.

If your child has diarrhea and is not vomiting, have him drink ORS and other fluids. Your doctor may ask you to keep track of the amount of fluid your child drinks. You can use a dropper, teaspoon or a measuring cup to help keep track.

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