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Diarrhea kills,do not ignore it.


Date Posted: 7/27/2012 2:10:22 PM

Posted By: meg soni   Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 2477

One of the leading causes of death in children is diarrhea diseases.It may sound like a minor disease that should not kill anyone but it does kill many children and it is quite common.Most cases of acute diarrhea clear on their own,a few are severe.The main cause of death is dehydration since the child loses a lot of fluid. Diarrhea is usually due to the infection of the gut.The main culprits include:
-Viruses such as rota-virus(the main cause of childhood diarrhea including the main cause of death due to diarrhea).
-Bacteria:Usually due to food poisoning.Culprits include E.coli,typhoid,campylobacter and cholera.
-Protozoa or parasites:In a few cases,diarrhea may result from antibiotic use or food intolerance including lactose intolerance. Diarrhea due to infection is acquired through a fecal oral route,meaning the child ingested some fetal matter.This is usually through contaminated hands or in foods that are not well cleaned.
Signs and symptoms.

The child will have diarrhea which may be watery,bloody or contain mucus.In most cases it is just watery.Other symptoms include fever,vomiting and abdominal pain and if they are young they are irritable and restless.A dehydrated child may have some of the following symptoms,dry mouth,fewer tears and urine,sunken eyes,irritability,weakness or vomiting.In severe cases,they may be drowsy or unconscious and have fast shallow breathing.Dehydration is an emergency and as you rush them to hospital if they are conscious,give them fluids.

Diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis is made based on symptoms.In a few cases,the doctor may order stool tests to confirm the cause especially if the stool is bloody.The main focus and means of treatment for diarrhea in children is to ensure hydration.This will entail:
-Oral replacement salt solution:the health care provider will provide some salts which can be mixed with water to give to the baby to restore their fluids.In some cases,they will give you some to carry home for use in

case the baby develops diarrhea.
-If the child's illness is severe,they will need admission to receive IV fluids.
-Zinc replacement-The doctor will give you this.
In addition,ensure that the child is getting fluids through breast feeding and other fluids at home.If there is a fever,drugs will be given to lower this.If bacteria is the cause for diarrhea,the doctor will give you antibiotics.

The main methods of prevention include:
-Rota virus immunization. It.It has a vaccine against it and is available at a cost but the benefits outweighs the cost.
-Measles vaccination.
-Breastfeeding:Especially exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of the baby's life and continued breastfeeding after that until the baby is at least 18-24 months old.Mother's breast milk is full of antibodies that protect the baby from diarrhea diseases.
-Vitamin A supplementation:Vitamin A protects the lining of the digestive system.All children under five years should receive Vitamin A supplementation every six months.
-Improved hygiene:It is important to use soap for hand washing and to ensure that stool is well disposed of.
-Ensuring good quality of education.

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