How To Treat Diarrhoea in Kids At Home


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Every one of us, at some point in our lives, has definitely been afflicted with an embarrassing condition. You clench your stomach, sweat pouring out, eyes swinging wildly looking for an available toilet. Yes. I’m talking about diarrhoea. For most of us adults, this condition would be a minor inconvenience, soon forgotten about after several bouts of diarrhoea. However, diarrhoea in a child could be dangerous, in rare cases even fatal. In this post you can find out how to treat diarrhoea in kids at home. 

What is Diarrhoea?


Diarrhoea has been defined as the abrupt onset of 3 or more loose stools per day. This could be divided into either

  1. Acute: Less than 14 days

  2. Chronic: More than 14 days


how to treat diarrhoea

Diarrhoea in children are mainly caused by Rotavirus, a highly contagious virus which spreads via fecal matter, or in medical speak, feco-oral route. The way this happens is first off, an infected person sheds the virus in the feces, which later enters a susceptible person’s mouth, via

  • Hands

  • Animals

  • Objects (toys, surfaces, etc)

  • Food

  • Water


how to treat diarrhoea

So how does the Rotavirus cause diarrhoea?


Essentially, rotavirus infects a part of the small intestine responsible for the reabsorption of fluids and electrolytes, known as the villi; effectively disabling the villi, leading to excessive fluid loss from the intestine. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium are excreted excessively as well.

How To Treat Diarrhoea at Home?


Treatment of this condition involves lots of fluid intake with replacement of electrolytes. Oral Rehydration Salts(ORS) is an effective, cheap home remedy which is widely available. A sachet of ORS contains all the required electrolytes and is easily prepared with 1 liter of cool, boiled water. However the method of consuming ORS varies according to the age of the child.how to treat diarrhoea

  1. Breastfeeding infants

    • Continue breastfeeding, mothers encouraged to breastfeed more often

    • Give a teaspoon of ORS solution every one to two minutes



  2. Children less than 2 years of age

    • Take cereal and ORS till diarrhoea stops

    • ¼ - ½ cup of ORS solution after every loose bowel motion



  3. Children 2 years and older

    • Continue taking solid food

    • ¼ - ½ cup of ORS solution after every loose bowel motion




The above remedy should put your child on the path to recovery. However, if symptoms below are seen, do bring your child to the nearest hospital immediately;

  • Many loose stools in a day (more than 7)

  • Fever

  • Blood in stool

  • No improvement after 3 days

  • Symptoms of severe dehydration (fainting spells, decreased skin turgor, impaired consciousness)


With all that has been said, at the risk of sounding clichéd, prevention really is better than cure. Diarrhoea can be prevented by teaching your children simple things to do such as keeping hands clean before and after meals, after using the toilet and washing hands thoroughly (8 steps). It may be tedious and your child may complain, but in the long run they will thank you for it!

how to treat diarrhoea

References:

  1. Hussain Imam Hj Muhammad Ismail, Ng Hoong Phak, Terrence Thomas. Paediatric Protocols For Malaysian Hospitals 3rd Malaysia: Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia, 2016.

  2. Medscape

  3. Tom Lissauer, Graham Clayden (eds.). Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics 4th Missouri: Mosby Elsevier, 2012.




Melvin Lee

by Melvin Lee

A fresh medical graduate balancing life between nerding and being a gym rat. He is passionate about life itself, and believes in living to his fullest in everything he does. His proudest flaw? Coffee addiction. View all articles by Melvin Lee.




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