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Here are a few of the causes of diarrhea that you can avoid to protect your child.

Let us begin by understanding the types of diarrhea. There are three types of diarrhea: –

● Acute Watery Diarrhea (lasts less than 14 days)
● Persistent diarrhea (lasts 14 days and more)
● Acute Bloody Diarrhea (Dysentery).

In case your child has more than three episodes of watery stools, you can consider that as an onset of diarrheal infection. Diarrhea in children is prevalent due to a lack of knowledge and habits of parents and children.

What Causes Diarrhea?

  • Unhygienic living habits: General Practices like washing hands, covering of food and water are at a low priority, which leads to contact with flies, bacteria and germs which is a significant cause for diarrhea.
  • Contaminated Drinking water: Water can get contaminated very easily. If the water is kept uncovered or when a dirty hand comes in contact, it can make the water polluted with bacteria which can cause diarrhea.
  • Undernourishment:  Parents are often not able to provide the required amount of nutrients which causes undernourishment and that results in low immunity in the child’s body, which can cause diarrhea.
  • Food allergy and intolerance: Milk, milk products, and soy allergies are the most common food allergies that affect the digestive tract in children. Lactose intolerance is a common condition that may cause diarrhea after eating foods or drinking beverages that contain milk or milk products.
  • Home Remedies for diarrhea: People do not consider diarrhea as a severe disease and they do not consult a doctor and try home remedies. Home remedies are often incomplete for the child, which can worsen the situation some time.   
  • Zinc deficiency: Diarrhea causes dehydration in children (reduced level of water content and salts), which reduces the level of electrolytes in their bodies. ORS and Zinc (Under the guidance of a doctor) are the best diarrhea treatment. Parents are often unaware of the usage of Zinc. Completing the course of zinc tablets is essential as it helps to strengthen the gut line for the absorption of nutrients from food.
Symptoms of diarrhea  in children

Food to give toddlers (under the age of 5years) with diarrhea: –

Toddlers diarrhea diet should consist of semisolid or liquid food.
Below are some of the food items that toddlers can eat during diarrhea: –

  • Bananas and fresh fruits
  • Bread
  • Rice
  • Khichdi
  • Curd
  • Cooked vegetables

They should avoid greasy foods, foods that are high in fibre, dairy products, and sweets. If your child is below the age of six months, you should stick exclusively to breastfeeding as it helps in creating antibodies to fight diarrhea.

Treatment of diarrhea in children is easy but is often delayed by the parents in the starting stage, which can make their condition very serious. With the onset of diarrhea, the first treatment should be a dose of ORS and Zinc and then consulted with a doctor.

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