“Prevention is always better than cure”, it is a very common and old saying. Diarrhea can be prevented with a little care in personal hygiene and lifestyle.
- Safe drinking:Water is very important for everyone so, one has to be cautious that the drinking water is clean.
- Before using water, it will be beneficial to boil the water or treat it with chemical disinfectants like iodine or chlorine tablets or by water filters.
- It is recommended to avoid water sold at trolleys or fruit juice shops or using ice from market which may contain any of the infecting agents causing diarrhea.
- Collection of water from clean source should be practiced.
- Hygiene is the best key to all the communicable (infectious) diseases.
- Washing of hands properly before eating, after passing stools, before preparing any food or cleaning the child after or before any activity where the chances of passing the infection is more.
- Regular bathing
- Wear clean clothes
- Keep the surroundings clean
- Vaccination: Administration of vaccines is beneficial in the prevention of diarrhea. Vaccines against
- Breast feeding and proper weaning
- During first 4-6 months of life, baby should be given exclusive breast feeds. This means that no other fluid (such as water, tea, juice, animal milk or powder milk) to be given at all. Breast milk has certain protective factors which protect the child from diarrhea. Also it is clean, hence there is no chance of contamination with germs.
- If milk other than breast milk is to be given, it should be given by spoon and bowl, NOT BOTTLE. Bottle should be avoided as it can not be cleaned properly. If it has to be used, it should be boiled for at least 15 minutes in water.
- Prevention of malnutrition: Malnutrition weakens the immunity of body against infections, and also increases risk of complications specially in children. Therefore, prevention of malnutrition by proper balanced diet is important in both the treatment and prevention of diarrhea.
- Safe disposal of waste products and fecal matter.
Prevention of food poisoning
- Avoid eating raw / uncooked foods e.g. salads, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruits, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, raw meat and shellfish.
- Peel fruits yourself and wash vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating.
- Some seafood (even well cooked) may be unsafe because of presence to toxins in its flesh.
- Promptly refrigerate leftovers and foods to be eaten later than 2 hours after preparation to prevent growth of bacteria.
- Thaw frozen foods in refrigerator and not outside. Do not refreeze foods once they have been thawed.
- Hands, preparing surface (cutting board, knife) and utensils should be washed with soap after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
- Persons ill with diarrhea or vomiting should not prepare foods for others.