Having children is both a very happy and rewarding experience. The joy they bring to us is immeasurable and is compared to none. We deem ourselves lucky, just to be in their company, and also blessed that they have been entrusted to us. That is why we worry a great deal when something bad happens to them, particularly toddlers, who are just learning how to walk, and can’t fully express themselves. We are at a loss on what is wrong with them, and sometimes panic, that it may turn worse. This is the dilemma facing parents of little children around the world.
Two of the most common sickness among young children is constipation and diarrhea. Owing to their still immature digestive system, they easily fall prey to various bacterial infections from the food they eat. So it is imperative of us to know how to immediately identify such sickness and also to quickly treat them.
Toddler constipation is caused by not eating enough fiber, not drinking a lot of water and may also be caused by them ignoring or delaying their urge to poop. A constipated toddler produces small, clumpy and hard stools, and will exhibit difficulty in passing them. The facial expression of a child suffering from constipation says it all, distorted face, substantial grunting and heavy breathing always accompany the difficult task of pushing out the stool. If left untreated, a constipated child’s anus may crack or tear, and may even bleed from the effect of the pressure exerted on them.
The treatment of constipation in toddlers is the direct opposite of its cause. It is advised for the child to increase the amount of fiber from the food that he eats and also to increase his consumption of liquids. It is also necessary to limit his ingestion of foods that are high in sugar and fats, as it may act as binding agents within the poop, and make it stick together more often. Increase in the exercise and physical activity of the child is also warranted, and if all of these methods fail, a stool softener from a pediatrician is recommended.
Diarrhea in toddlers on the other hand is more serious in nature. It is mainly caused by your child’s ingesting of food that contains bacteria or virus that causes diarrhea; it may also be from your child eating something that irritated his stomach and digestive system.
Typical diarrhea symptoms are the frequent passing of watery and loose stools, about four to seven times in a day. Vomiting and blood in the stools may also happen, which, take note, warrants an immediate trip to the doctor. The main crux of the danger in diarrhea is the dehydration that comes with it. A toddler with diarrhea quickly loses the fluids and electrolytes in his body through his constant pooping, and if not addressed in a timely manner, his situation and health will deteriorate speedily.
Treating diarrhea primarily consists of, rehydrating the child’s body, to ensure that no dehydration will occur. Skipping of solid food for a day is ruled, and the consumption of bland foods like bananas, rice and bread is recommended instead. Consuming large amount of liquid at a time is frowned upon, as it may worsen the state of the stomach, which is already under duress. Easing into normal diet is carefully done to prevent recurrence.
I feel for those little kids that suffer from these sicknesses, as I myself, already an adult, have a hard time when under such ailments. Total attention and care must always be given to them as they are yet unable to fend for themselves. They totally need us during this difficult phase, and are wholly dependent of us for their lives. We must not fail them.