All babies under 5 years will one day gastroenteritis. The main risk of this infection is dehydration. How to rehydrate your child? What should we make him drink? When to be concerned … Our tips.
Each year, 300,000 episodes of acute diarrhea occur among children under 5 years, of which 160 000 severe diarrhea, causing 18,000 hospitalizations. The main risk is dehydration, which can sometimes be dramatic (13 to 14 deaths per year).
Originally from gastroenteritis, have in most cases a highly infectious virus, rotavirus. But other viruses may be involved, and even bacteria. In general, the infection is characterized by frequent diarrhea, sometimes with vomiting and fever for 3-8 days. They can be more or less stringent depending on the case.
The main risk is dehydration in toddlers, who are very sensitive to water loss.
The essential rehydration.
If your child is affected by gastroenteritis, we must react. It is essential to consult your doctor, especially before 2 years, to define the best way to rehydrate baby. This usually involves an oral rehydration solution (ORS) sold in pharmacies. It is directly made to that effect. It contains the correct proportions of water, salt and sugar. They can be obtained without a prescription directly to the pharmacist and are reimbursed when prescribed.
Note: ORS does not address the gastroenteritis virus, it only treats the symptoms: diarrhea. It is therefore normal that it does not heal baby soon!
Be careful not to give cola sodas and other sugary drinks as we sometimes hear. Not only it will not help but it can have adverse consequences for baby. Only the SRO should help treat dehydration.
SRO solution in practice
The SRO issued to you is in the form of powder sachet pour in 200 ml of water (all brands have the same dilution). Be careful to choose water with low mineral content (water permitted for bottles) for dilution. Do not add anything into the mix, no salt, sugar or other product.
Then it comes to the lad drink this SRO. It must be presented several times an hour the baby. He can drink all he wants, do not limit the amount of ORS that takes the baby. If, however, he does not drink is that it is not very thirsty, and that perhaps is not so dehydrated. Re-offer him an hour later the solution.
If the child tends to vomit, try to give him small sips, spacing of 5 to 10 minutes takes. If the solution is cool, it is better tolerated.
Outside the SRO to replace all beverages, baby food should be normal (feeding, milk bottles or meals depending on age). Indeed, it is essential that the baby recovers forces against gastroenteritis.
If your child is a little larger and already has a diverse diet, you can focus rice, carrots, poultry, potatoes, apples or bananas to fight against diarrhea.
If, despite your best efforts, your child still does not drink, that his health is not visibly improving, he continues to vomit, he breathes rapidly, he dozes or loses weight .. . see a doctor urgently.
If diarrhea persists for more than 5 days, consult your doctor also: it may be lactose intolerant, and then suggest you try a milk that does not contain.
Finally, note, it is also possible to prevent gastroenteritis in infants. Two vaccines are available: RotaTeq and Rotarix. Issued orally, they are recommended routinely in many countries but are not included in the immunization schedule in France.