When your child has diarrhoea, the food they eat and what they avoid are critical when it comes to recovery. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind.
There’s what’s famously called the BRAT diet.* Bananas, Rice, Apple, Toast- these are bland (so won’t aggravate the digestive system) and binding (they help firm up stool) foods. Broths, coconut water are other fluids you can feed them. Mixes of cereal and locally available beans, adding oil or ghee to them to make them energy-rich, dairy products and eggs are also advised.
Taking probiotics as soon as possible during and after diarrhoea can help in the recovery process. Probiotics are basically live bacteria and yeasts that are good for the digestive system, and their key role is to keep the gut healthy.
Oral rehydration at home is an absolute necessity when your child has diarrhoea because dehydration is a very common consequence. Oral rehydration solution is a mixture of clean water, salt and sugar. Homemade solutions consisting of half a small spoon of salt and six level small spoons of sugar dissolved in one litre of boiled and cooled water, or lightly salted rice water. It is absorbed in the small intestine and replaces the water and electrolytes lost in stools.
Often, diarrhoea is treated at home with known remedies, the right diet and OTC pills. However, if the diarrhoea lasts more than two days with no improvement, or there has been severe dehydration, it’s important to get prompt treatment. Other symptoms to watch for include black or bloody stools, severe abdominal pain, a fever of 102°F or higher, or dehydration- vomiting, decrease or absence of tears, dry mouth, sunken eyes, thirst, less elasticity in the skin.