If diarrhea can often appear in babies, especially due to an epidemic of gastroenteritis, then this problem must still be taken seriously. In fact, young children are quickly at risk of dehydration. We take stock of the recommendations for acute diarrhea in infants with Professor Patrick TounianHead of the Department of Pediatric Nutrition and Gastroenterology at Trousseau Hospital.
Baby: when do we talk about diarrhea?
“We speak of diarrhea when the baby’s bowel movements are more frequent and less regular than usual (more liquid),” explains Professor Tounian. So faced with a baby that Acute diarrhea is when you have more than three loose stools a day. Diarrhea is a source of much concern for parents and needs to be taken seriously. Questionable ? the risk of dehydration in children under the age of three. About 14,000 hospital admissions result from gastroenteritis each year.
Diarrhea in babies: what to do?
To prevent the baby from dehydration, it is necessary offer a rehydration solution available in pharmacies without a prescription. Generally, this type of product comes in the form of a powder to be diluted in mineral water. In the case of vomiting in connection with diarrhea, it is advisable to administer small amounts regularly. “On the performance side, the latter must be normal. Of course we avoid giving children juices and sodas,” says Professor Patrick Tounian. “As for milk, parents can continue to give the usual formula. In case of severe diarrhea (very frequent and very runny) only a doctor can decide to switch to milk by offering a low-lactose formula.”
Diarrhea in Babies: Recognizing Signs of Seriousness
“In my opinion, the most important thing to say to parents is to know how to recognize the signs of seriousness when confronted with a baby who has diarrhea. These signs should prompt them to consult in emergencies a doctor, a pediatrician or go to the children’s emergency room:
- The baby can no longer rehydrate either because he vomits systematically or because he is too apathetic (extreme fatigue);
- Diarrhea is plentifulwe have the impression that as soon as we give the child something to drink, it immediately makes a very liquid stool;
- The symptoms are associated with a fever (above 38°C) persist for three days.
Only the doctor can assess the baby’s condition and decide whether or not to hospitalize it,” the pediatrician specifies.
Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Vaccine
“The rotavirus vaccination is not one of the mandatory vaccinations, but it is recommended by paediatricians. It is very effective against severe forms of gastroenteritis, mostly caused by rotavirus,” explains Professor Tounian. This vaccine is given orally. “It should be carried out as best as possible before the baby is six months old, for maximum efficiency,” specifies the head of the Department of Pediatric Nutrition and Gastroenterology at the Trousseau Hospital. According to the official Vaccination Information Service website: “It is important to start infants with rotavirus vaccination early, starting at 6 weeks of age. Depending on the vaccine used, it must be completed by the age of 6 or 8 months at the latest. Two vaccines are available, given in 2 or 3 doses at least a month apart.” Please note that this vaccine is non-refundable.