Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children: First Aid Guidance

    Vomiting and Diarrhea

    Vomiting and diarrhea in children are the same methods of protection like a runny nose, cough, high temperature, etc. Something has got into the gastrointestinal tract, and the body is trying to remove this stuff by all available means. Both diarrhea and vomiting are primarily dangerous because the body loses a large amount of water and salts. Hence, the main principle of help is to replenish losses. It is better to have at home remedies that are a mixture of different salts and are diluted with boiled water before use (“Oral”, “Rehydron”, “Glyukosolan”). The solution temperature equals the body temperature. And don’t worry if the child does not eat anything at all – he can withstand without food for a long time (for several days even) but he must drink or be breastfead (if the baby is too young) a lot. If you don’t have mentioned remedies, a decoction of raisins is the best substitute. When vomiting is repeated persistently, remember that your little one must drink more often but in small portions for the stomach not to be stretched, and always coordinate with your pediatrician the use of antiemetics (“Reglan”).

    You need also to help the baby’s body – to cleanse the colon with an enema (yes, despite diarrhea). Use ordinary boiled water the temperature of which should be about 20 degrees Celsius. All the liquid must come out.

    The intensity of your worries should be closely associated with the general condition of the child but not with the number of times he has soiled the diapers or the pot. For if the baby’s general condition is good – he is active, plays games, the body temperature is normal – there is nothing to be worried about. Also control the urine – there is no fluid deficit if it is light.

    Your actions if the child has vomiting and diarrhea:

    • immediately call the doctor;
    • do not feed the child before the doctor’s arrival;
    never give your child antibiotics and other chemotherapeutic agents (enteroseptol, ftalazol, Biseptolum and their analogs);
    • always leave the child’s feces (in a diaper or in the pot) for the doctor to study them.

    How both vomiting and diarrhea are dangerous:

    • a child loses a lot of water and mineral salts when he has frequent loose stool and repeated vomiting – all these cause severe violation of water-mineral metabolism. This condition is called exsicosis or dehydration. Remember: the younger the child, the more sensitive his body is to the loss of water and salts, the more serious his condition is;
    • vomiting can disrupt respiratory tract, since the contents of the stomach can get there, and this situation is dangerous for the child’s life.

    The first signs of dehydration development:

    • the child becomes sleepy and sluggish;
    • thirst appears and grows;
    • mucous membranes of the mouth are dry and bright;
    • the tongue is dry and covered with a viscous mucus;
    • eyes become dim and sunken;
    • there’s no urine for more than 6 hours long.

    What to do before the doctor’s arrival:

    1. necessarily put the child into the bed;

    2. if vomiting appears, seat the child his torso forward (thus you protect the respiratory tract from vomit), if the child is very weak and cannot sit, necessarily turn his head to a side and remove the pillow;

    3. after vomiting let the child rinse the mouth with warm water, carefully wipe his lips and the corners of the mouth, change his clothes if necessary;

    4. each time the child soils a diaper, nappy or the pot, wash his bottom with warm water, dry the skin and apply a baby cream especially around the anus;

    5. let your child drink the glucose-saline solutions (“Oral”, “Rehydron”, and others). Dissolve a packet of powder in a liter of warm boiled water and give it to the child in small portions but as often as possible (about 2-3 teaspoons every 10-15 minutes).

    In any case, remember: diarrhea and vomiting in infants are very dangerous phenomena, and no any parental experience makes it possible to properly assess the severity of child’s health condition – always consult the specialist. The doctor will tell you how to feed, to treat and care of your ill child.

    How do you do when your little ones have vomiting and diarrhea? What can you advise to other parents whose children suffer from the same problem? Share your tips and thoughts in the comments section below!


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