Diarrhea and vomiting in children can be triggered by numerous factors. First of all, bacteria and viruses may be behind it. Secondly, undercooked or inadequately prepared meat can lead to vomiting and diarrhea when consumed. Also, excessive sweets consumption may have the same effect.
The main problem which arises due to diarrhea and vomiting is the dehydration, causing fluid loss which needs to be made up for.
Prevention of Dehydration due to Vomiting and Diarrhea
During dehydration, the child's organism gets depleted of fluids and electrolytes. This leads to health problems which need to be dealt with through proper hydration. If the baby is being breastfed, continue this nutritional manner, since breast milk contains all the elements necessary for treating dehydration.
Alternatively, the doctor may suggest giving your child an oral rehydration solution in combination with the breastfeeding.
If you happen to be giving your baby formula, it is best to opt for a lactose-free one since lactose can make diarrhea and vomiting problems even worse. Thus, the best possible combination is switching between the formula for a day and the oral rehydration solution for the same amount of time.
Children and toddlers can be given the oral rehydration solution for the entire time during their vomiting and diarrhea periods. The ORS is safe for babies as well. Basically, this solution contains potassium, salt, sugar and many other elements which prevent dehydration.
If your child is younger than 1, he/she can also eat clear soups, or drink clear sodas and juices mixed with water for such, preventive purposes. However, you should not give your child dark sodas and plain water, since the former may irritate the stomach further while the latter will have no effect on the health situation.
Facts about ORS
Oral rehydration solutions come in several different forms. Some ORS products can be bought as powders, some are frozen and some are already mixed with water and ready for consumption. Pedialyte, Ricelyte, Rehydralyte and the WHO-ORS, all may be purchased over-the-counter. However, if you desire to make this solution yourself, you will need 8 teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt mixed with 4 cups of water. This solution will lack potassium, but will provide proper rehydration. Bananas can compensate for the lack of potassium, so make sure you give your child this fruit.
It is important to give ORS to your child in smaller, frequent amounts. For example, if the vomiting is severe and often, give a teaspoon of ORS to your child every minute. If the child is capable of having more without consequences, increase the dose. Once a child vomits, wait for about 30 minutes before giving him/her ORS.
If the diarrhea and vomiting continue to bother your child for more than 3 days, seek medical assistance. Also, during the recovery period, do not force your child to eat if he/she does not want to.