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What to do if the child has gastroenteritis

What to do if the child has gastroenteritis


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Acute gastroenteritis is the most common infection of the digestive system, and it also affects children. Its own name indicates that the clinical picture is marked by inflammation, and that the sections mainly affected are the stomach (gastro) and the intestine (enteritis).

Gastroenteritis is one of the most common conditions among children in their first years of kindergarten or school and can be more or less serious depending on its origin and intensity.

Gastroenteritis can be caused by a wide variety of microorganisms, from viruses (Rotavirus, Adenovirus, Norovirus, Coronavirus, Agent Norwalk), to bacteria (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Shigella) or parasites (Giardia).

From a clinical point of view, there may be a variable degree of fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The consistency and appearance of the stool will vary depending on the sector of the intestine that is most affected. If the small intestine is preferentially affected, the stool will be very soft or watery. If the most distal part of the large intestine is affected, there may be blood, pus, or mucus in the stool. The presence of blood tends to cause great concern, but what most worries us in a child with this process is dehydration.

You can suspect that your child is dehydrated if he is not very active, if he is down, if he cries without tears or if he urinates little or no urine, and if he has 'sunken eyes'.

From the point of view of treatment, the fundamental thing is to rehydrate the child with a low sodium serum (you can find them in any pharmacy). This has to be offered in frequent periodic doses, especially after each abundant stool. In addition, you have to offer a soft, palatable diet, without forcing. Very restrictive diets are counterproductive.

Ah! And don't forget to wash your hands after changing the diaper or grooming your child.

You can read more articles similar to What to do if the child has gastroenteritis, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.


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