Infant and children
Diarrheal dehydration is a common cause of death in child hood (especially in the under developed and developing countries). Since below the age of 1 year diarrhea is usually self- limiting and restoring fluid and electrolyte balance (by Oral Rehydration Therapy or ORT) is usually enough for treatment.
If the infant is on feeds, breast feeding is to be continued as usual. Oral rehydration solutions recommended by the world health organization (WHO) are easily available. The same can be prepared at home by dissolving 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt, in a glass of boiled and cooled water.
Contrary to the former beliefs (fasting or sufficient rest period of gut is helpful in diarrhea), it has been conclusively shown that food should be continued as usual. This not only helps in the repair of the damaged gut but also assist in reducing the severity of diarrhea. Infact, the selection of food items during diarrhea is quite important. Following food items are generally advised to the children.
- Boiled and mashed rice
- Rice porridges (add 10 g of rice powder in 200 ml of water and boil it for 4 – 5 minutes)
- All the breakfast cereals (properly cooked)
- Clear soups ( thick soups should be excluded)
- Dal water
- Coconut water
- Properly cooked liquid or semi-liquid khichri (use moong dal and rice for it)
Fresh fruit juices