Gastroenteritis in babies is a condition that requires extreme vigilance and monitoring to avoid complications. We share more information about it.The gastroenteritis in the baby is a disease that can cause serious problems. For this reason, early identification and appropriate guidelines for action are important.
To avoid complications, it is necessary to know what the warning signs are, as well as the specific care that improves the condition. Preventive measures, such as rotavirus vaccination, should be evaluated at the baby’s early age, following the pediatrician’s recommendations.
What is Gastroenteritis in the baby?
It is an inflammatory digestive disease that usually affects the stomach or intestines. It usually begins with the following signs and symptoms:
- Diarrhea. Normal baby’s stools are loose or liquid; this makes it difficult to identify diarrhea. If you observe changes in the stools with the presence of a greater number, it is advisable to consult with your pediatrician.
- Vomiting. It is important to differentiate them from regurgitation; For this, it is necessary to know that vomiting occurs with a forceful exit of food and regurgitation is an easy exit from the flows that is usually accompanied by belching.
- Fever. External temperature (measured in armpit or groin) above 37.5 ºC.
- Abdominal pain. It is the most difficult symptom to identify because it only presents with crying.
What Causes Gastroenteritis in Baby?
The main cause of this condition are infectious diseases that can appear from viruses, bacteria or parasites. Among viruses, rotavirus is the most frequent and most important in developed countries.
It can also be due to non-intestinal infections such as otitis or urinary tract infections. It can even appear with non-infectious diseases such as dietary or other more systemic disorders.
What to do to prevent these pictures?
In order to prevent gastroenteritis in the baby, we will have to take into account what is its main cause. As we have mentioned before, germs are the main causes and we must prevent their transmission.
As a consequence, a series of actions are required that favor the breakdown of the chain of transmission of germs:
- Frequent hand hygiene. This is one of the main steps in breaking the chain of germ transmission.
- Follow well the recommendations on the conservation of baby’s milk, whether artificial or maternal.
- Avoid contact with adults or children who show signs or symptoms of illness. When in doubt as to whether or not they are in the contagion phase, maintain a cautious behavior and avoid visits.
- Do not kiss babies on the mouth or hands if a possible infection is suspected. Saliva is a conductor of many pathogens.
- Good hygiene of teats and pacifiers. Wash the nipples and pacifiers daily.
- Up- to-date and adequate vaccination schedule. Ask your pediatrician or pediatric nurse for information about the rotavirus vaccine.
When should I see a doctor?
Gastroenteritis in the baby is a disease that requires vigilance by parents or relatives. Among the most frequent complications are:
- The dehydration due to excessive loss of water and electrolytes.
- Hypoglycemia, as a consequence of the drop in blood sugar levels.
- Transient intolerance to lactose, due to the loss of enzymes in the walls of the intestine.
To avoid these situations, it is advisable to go to the pediatrician or the emergency service in the event of the following warning signs:
- If diarrhea occurs in babies less than 6 months old.
- In the presence of fever of 38ºC or higher.
- When vomiting appears or refuses all feedings.
- When checking weight loss.
- If the stool has blood or mucus.
The pediatrician may make a diagnosis of gastroenteritis in the baby after evaluating the clinic. As a result of the evaluation, you may request a stool culture to detect the causative germ.
What is the treatment of a gastroenteritis in the baby?
When a possible picture of gastroenteritis appears in a baby, parents or caregivers should be extremely vigilant of the picture and pay attention to food tolerance:
- Continue breastfeeding. It is one of the main measures in babies or infants. But the formula milk should not be diluted and it is necessary to maintain the same doses in the preparation.
- The pediatrician, after the assessment, can detect the need for treatment of the baby based on the provision of oral supplements for hydration.
- If you cannot tolerate oral fluids, the doctor may consider the need for intravenous hydration to promote recovery and avoid serious complications.
Do you suspect this disease in your baby? If you identify their symptoms, request an evaluation with the pediatrician as soon as possible. The professional will be able to determine the best treatment according to the child’s needs.