The most important reasons why a girl has diarrhea
The list of possibilities is long. Diarrhea can result from a viral or bacterial infection. It can also be caused by a parasite, an antibiotic treatment, or something that the child ate.
There are several types of viruses such as rotavirus, adenovirus, calicivirus, astrovirus and influenza that can cause diarrhea, as well as vomiting , abdominal pain , fever, chills and malaise.
A bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella or staphylococcus can cause diarrhea. If your child has a bacterial infection, he may have severe diarrhea, accompanied by cramps, blood in the stool, and fever (may or may not have vomiting).
Some of these infections disappear spontaneously, but others, such as those caused by E. coli, which is found in undercooked meat and other foods, can be very serious. So if your child has these symptoms, take him to the doctor. He will examine you and probably analyze a stool culture for signs of bacterial infection.
In some cases, an ear infection (which may be viral or bacterial in origin) can cause diarrhea. If that is the case, you may notice that your child is irritable, stretches his ears or complains of earache. You can also vomit and have little appetite. It is also possible that you have recently had a cold.
Parasitic infections can also cause diarrhea. Giardiasis, for example, is caused by a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestines. Symptoms may include gas, bloating, diarrhea and fatty stools. Parasites are easily spread in day care centers and the treatment includes special medications, so you will have to take your little one to the doctor.
If your child has diarrhea during a cycle of antibiotics or just after treatment, it may be related to the medication, which often kills good bacteria in the intestines in addition to the bacteria that were causing a problem. Talk to the doctor about the alternatives and the remedies, but do not stop giving him the medication until the doctor gives you his approval.
Too much juice
Drinking too much juice (especially fruit juices that contain sorbitol and high levels of fructose) or too many sweetened beverages can cause your baby stomach pain and diarrhea. Decreasing the amount should solve the problem, approximately in a week.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends not giving your child more than one small glass (4 to 6 ounce / 118 to 177 ml) of fruit juice a day.
Diarrhea of young children
If your child has multiple soft stools a day, which may contain undigested food or mucus and a very unpleasant odor, you may have what doctors know as “small child’s diarrhea or beginning to walk” (also known as irritable bowel syndrome of the child).
The exact cause of this condition is not known, except that it may be caused by a change in the child’s diet or the introduction of new foods. Your child will continue to grow and gain weight in a normal way, and will soon outgrow that condition.
Call the emergency service in your area (911 in the United States and Mexico and have your local handy), if your child has trouble breathing or swelling his lips or face.
A food allergy (in which the body’s immune system has an adverse reaction to proteins in foods that are normally harmless) can cause severe or mild reactions, immediately or a couple of hours after ingesting the food.
Symptoms may include diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain and blood in the stool. In more severe cases, an allergy can also cause hives, a rash , headache, swelling and breathing difficulties.
Milk protein is the most common food allergen. Other common food allergens (most of which are not yet part of your baby’s diet) include eggs, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, nuts, fish, and shellfish. If you suspect that your baby’s diarrhea is related to an allergy, talk to your doctor.
Unlike a food allergy, an intolerance is not related to the immune system. An example of this is lactose intolerance (also called food sensitivity) or gluten .
If your child suffers from lactose intolerance, what it means is that your body is not producing lactase, the enzyme that is needed to digest the sugar present in cow’s milk and other dairy products. When the enzyme remains in the intestine, it produces symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps and gas. The symptoms usually begin between half an hour and two hours after having consumed dairy products.
However, keep in mind that if your child has a severe case of diarrhea, you may have temporary problems producing lactase, and as a result you may have symptoms of lactose intolerance for a week or two.
If your child has diarrhea and vomiting and you think he may have swallowed something that was not a food, such as medicine, chemicals, or a plant, call your local poison control center immediately (800-222-1222 in the United States) .
How should I treat my child’s diarrhea?
While diarrhea is rarely serious when treated properly, you may need to admit your child to a hospital if you become dehydrated , so your main goal should be to give him enough fluids. If your little one does not have vomiting, try to drink more water than usual.
If you vomit everything you give or if diarrhea is severe (liquid stools every two hours or more), call the doctor, who can suggest that you start giving him a pediatric electrolyte solution. These solutions are sold in pharmacies and come with flavors that most children will drink at ease if they are dehydrated, another good option is some apple juice diluted in water.
Avoid sweetened liquids such as soft drinks (including ginger ale orginger ale ), sports drinks (such as Gatorade), sugar water, and undiluted fruit juices. Also avoid fruit jelly (Jell-O). All these foods contain sugar, which carries water to the intestines and worsens diarrhea.
Currently doctors advise to continue giving solid food to a child with diarrhea. While there is nothing wrong with feeding a child with the classic diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (in English this diet is known as BRAT: bananas, rice, apples, toast ), the AAP says that all foods composed of complex carbohydrates (such as rice, wheat and cereal), as well as lean meats, yogurt, fruits and vegetables, are safe