Diarrhoea can be scary. Yes, passing of loose stool by your child can be alarming. I will agree with you, it is nerve racking. I have had disheartening experiences in the Paediatrics ward that prompt me to write about this. I saw many children lose their lives after they were brought to the hospital when it was too late. A lot of times I had to balance tears as we tried to resuscitate a child. At times I got very annoyed as I saw a mother bring in their 8 months old baby after 4 days of passing loose stool.

If your child starts having diarrhoea, you should rehydrate them after every loose stool. You can use ORS for this, if they can drink. If they are still breastfeeding,you should continuously breastfeed them. This should be during the observation time. You should not let more than 6 hours pass as you observe the child before seeing a doctor. If you take too long, then, your child will have lost too much fluids and important ions in the body such as potassium and bicarbonates. The loss of fluids leads to too much work by the heart in ensuring that all body parts are well perfused. What I mean is that your baby’s body systems are crashing.

Dehydration danger signs include:

i.) If they have cold peripheries. That means that if you touch their hands and legs, they are colder than their trunk.

ii.) If they are unconscious and you cannot feel or there is a weak pulse e.g. at the radius bone(radial pulse).

iii.) If also they have a capillary refill of more than 3 seconds indicating serious hypovolemia(reduced fluid volume in the body).

iv.) The child might also present convulsions due to metabolic imbalances caused by loss of essential ions.

v.) Also if their eyes are sunken. I don’t think that we should wait this long to rush to a hospital, let’s do it earlier.

As I pen off, I urge all of us to take this seriously. Dehydration secondary to severe diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of mortalities in the hospitals today.

I would like to know what you think about this. Kindly share your thoughts at the comment box below!

Photo credits: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2397789/

Lots of Love,

Ruguru Kimani.