How to recognize and treat intestinal infection in children?
Intestinal infections in children can be caused by various types of viruses and bacteria. All these pathogens are resistant to negative environmental factors, they can maintain their activity for a long time at low temperatures outside the human body.
They live on food, household items and dirty skin of the body. It is very easy to introduce an infectious pathogen into the gastrointestinal tract, infection occurs through the mouth. The process of treating intestinal infections in children will take a lot of nerves from parents and cause even more suffering to the child.
Intestinal infections are divided into the following diseases:
- Bacterial intestinal infections: salmonellosis, dysentery, colibacillosis, yersiniosis, campylobacteriosis, cholera, botulism, typhoid fever, acute intestinal infection caused by Klebsiella, clostridia, blue prickly stick, staphylococcus and others.
- Viral intestinal infections that cause rotaviruses, enteroviruses, adenoviruses and others.
- Fungal intestinal infections caused by Candida fungi.
- Protozoal intestinal infections: amebiasis, giardiasis.
Treatment of intestinal infections in children is complicated by the fact that specialists need about 3 days to accurately determine the causative agent of the disease. During this period, the pathogenic microflora begins to be active in the biological material collected from the patient. While the analysis is being carried out, the child is receiving treatment with drugs that are effective against the overwhelming number of pathogens.
The symptoms of intestinal infection in children are divided into local and general.
Common signs of the disease:
- intoxication: increased body temperature, headache, general weakness,
- dehydration: rare urination, dark urine, dry mucous membranes and skin, a violation of skin turgor.
Local symptoms of intestinal infections in children:
- by type of gastritis: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
- by type of gastroenteritis: pain in the stomach and paraumbilical zone, vomiting, watery stools with mucus,
- by type of gastroenterocolitis: persistent abdominal pain of diffuse nature, vomiting, loose stools with blood, not bringing relief,
- according to the type of colitis: pain in the lower abdomen, pain during stool, loose stools mixed with mucus and blood, false desires to the toilet.
Severe disease can cause the following complications, each of which has its own signs:
- neurotoxicosis: restless behavior, disorder of consciousness, delusions and hallucinations, convulsive syndrome,
- impaired blood circulation: low blood pressure, cyanosis of the skin, weakness of the heart,
- renal failure: pain in the lumbar spine, a decrease in the amount of urine secreted or its complete absence,
- hypovolemic shock resulting from dehydration: retraction of the eyeballs, weight loss, sharpening of facial features.
How to distinguish a viral intestinal infection from bacterial?
To make a correct diagnosis and choose an effective treatment, it is important to find out why an intestinal infection arose, what became its basis - a bacterial or viral infection?
Bacterial intestinal infections develop as a result of the ingestion of bacteria such as salmonella, dysenteric bacillus, etc. It is possible to distinguish such an infection from a viral infection by the following features: the disease begins by poisoning with a simultaneous rise in body temperature from 37 to 38 °.
Viral intestinal infections are also not uncommon. Experts identify 10 groups of intestinal viruses. Rotaviruses and enteroviruses are the most common causative agents of the disease.
Rotavirus infection is called intestinal flu, it occurs in half of patients with a viral intestinal infection. Viral infections develop acutely, like a cold or flu, the body temperature suddenly rises to critical levels - from 39 ° and above, the stool becomes watery and abundant, colored in yellow. The treatment tactics for intestinal infections of viral origin is different from the treatment of a bacterial form of the disease.
What to do before the arrival of the doctor?
How to treat an intestinal infection in a child, the doctor will tell.
Before his arrival, you can help your child in the following ways:
- Offer as much drinking as possible. Even babies need to be given boiled water from the nipples to combat dehydration.
- From 6 months child can be given Enterosgel or Activated charcoal. Dose calculation is simple: 1 tsp. gel or 1 tablet of coal per 10 kg of child's weight.
- It is important not to give children any food. Food products, getting into the digestive tract irritated by the infectious process, irritate it even more and aggravate the signs of an intestinal infection in a child. Only babies under one year old can still be offered breast milk if they are breastfed.
What can not be done?
When symptoms of intestinal infection in a child are prohibited from doing the following:
- Give painkillers. Analgesics can blur the picture of the disease, with the result that the doctor can make the wrong diagnosis and postpone the provision of the necessary specialized care for an indefinite period.
- To give astringent or fixative preparations, for example, Loperamide or Imodium. It is impossible to stop diarrhea, as the pathogens and their toxins leave the intestines together with feces. If you stop the diarrhea, the bulk of pathogenic microflora will remain in the body, aggravating the situation.
- You can not do enemas at home.
- You can not hesitate with calling a doctor and self-medicate a child. Acute intestinal infections may hide surgical pathology, so ambulance must be called immediately, otherwise the consequences may be sad. The younger the child, the more dangerous for him intestinal infection.
Treatment of intestinal infections in children should be comprehensive, suggesting the organization of oral rehydration, symptomatic, etiotropic and pathogenetic treatment, diet therapy.
Diet in children in the treatment of intestinal infections is based on reducing the volume of food and increasing the frequency of feedings, with the use of products in an easily digestible form or artificial formulas in infants with protective factors.
The basis of the treatment of symptoms of intestinal infection in children is oral rehydration of the body with special solutions of salts and glucose (drugs Regidron, Cytroglukosolan). You should also pay attention to drink plenty of water. If a sufficient amount of liquid cannot be consumed, the child is prescribed an infusion treatment with intravenous administration of a solution of albumin, glucose and others.
Etiotropic treatment of symptoms of intestinal infection in children is carried out using the following drugs.:
- antibiotics: gentamicin, polymyxin,
- intestinal antiseptics: furazolidone, nalidixic acid,
- Enterosorbents: Smecta, Read more about when else this drug is prescribed →
- bacteriophages of specific value: salmonella, klebsielle, dysenteric and others,
- immunoglobulin: antirotavirus and others.
Pathogenetic treatment is carried out with intestinal infections in children, the symptoms of which require the appointment of enzyme preparations (for example, Festal) and antiallergic drugs (for example, Suprastin, Loratadin).
Symptomatic treatment of intestinal infections in children includes taking antispasmodic (for example, Drotaverin, No-spa) and antipyretic drugs (for example, Paracetamol, Panadol).
After a medical examination and the appointment of all therapeutic measures aimed at eliminating the symptoms of intestinal infection in children, the treatment must be continued with proper diet therapy.
Babies under one year of age who are breastfed need to offer their breasts more often and give boiled water from the nipple so that the baby can quickly recover the fluid lost by the body. Babies who are bottle-fed during treatment and for a period after recovery are recommended to give a low-lactose or lactose-free mixture.
Children older than a year should receive the most sparing food that is easily digestible, for example: vegetable puree, vegetable and rice soups, low-fat dairy products, fruits and berries, porridge and cereals cooked in water, freshly squeezed juices without sugar. You also need to remember about the drinking regime: to prevent dehydration, the child needs to drink frequently. As a drink, you can offer boiled water, black tea, chamomile decoction, fruit drink, non-carbonated mineral water.
In order not to think about how to treat intestinal infections in children, you need to pay attention to the prevention of this disease. General recommendations are reduced to the observance of personal hygiene, compulsory hand washing after the toilet and the street, careful handling of food products, especially washing fresh vegetables and fruits.
If one of the family members or the child has symptoms of an intestinal infection, treatment should be carried out in a separate room where disinfection should be carried out. The sick stand out separate bedding, towels, dishes and cutlery. After each visit to the toilet you need to handle a toilet bowl or a children's pot with any disinfectant, if the child goes into it.
Detection of signs of intestinal infection in a child is an urgent reason to seek medical attention. There is no question of any self-treatment in this case. It is necessary to consult a pediatrician, undergo a proper examination and receive adequate medical care.
The most famous bacterial infections:
- coli infection.
The incubation period can be from 6 hours to 10 days. It all depends on the disease. The shortest incubation period is for infections caused by cocci and salmonellosis. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.
Viral infections (rota-, entero- and adenoviral) are most common. The household name for rotavirus infection is intestinal flu. He has an acute sudden onset. The disease manifests itself in the form of fever, vomiting, light yellow feces.
Enterovirus disease is characterized by an acute course with the following symptoms:
- increased body temperature
- headache and muscle pain,
- state of fever,
- sore nasopharynx,
- fear of the light
- altered pulse
- loose stools.
Adenovirus infections manifest as coryza and conjunctivitis. Sometimes they affect the small intestine (diarrhea, refusal to eat, vomiting).
Of parasitic infections, two are most common: amebiasis and giardiasis. The incubation period of the first, as a rule, lasts 1-18 weeks. Amebiasis is manifested in the form of fever, bloody abundant stool, acute pain in the abdomen. Its complications can be liver, intestinal and pulmonary lesions, as well as brain damage.
Giardiasis also appears on average after 2 weeks. Inflamed small intestine, there are colic, flatulence. The child is sick, he can sometimes vomit. The chair has a liquid and watery form. The temperature rises, pain in the abdomen and ribs appears. In severe form, dehydration, convulsions, cardiac and vascular complications, anemia, refusal to eat, problems with breathing and nervous system are added.
It is quite difficult to determine the disease in infants, as the baby cannot say about his ailments.
Signs of Oka may be:
- Baby anxiety. His crying can not be calmed in the usual way. The child does not sleep well, kicks through, pressing them against the tummy.
- Lack of appetite or vomiting after feeding.
- Increased manifestations of flatulence and colic.
- Increased temperature (37–39 ° С).
- Liquid, watery stools, sometimes with mucus, foam, blood, food.
Signs of dehydration:
- the baby becomes sluggish
- no tears flow from his eyes, although he cries,
- the child does not urinate for more than 6 hours,
- sunken eyes,
- dry and tight skin
- dry mouth.
How to diagnose intestinal infection
Oka - one of the reasons that leads to the death of newborns. As soon as you have a suspicion of having an infection in a child, consult a doctor. He is obliged to inspect the baby, fix complaints and prescribe tests (blood, urine, feces, food, vomiting, etc.). And depending on the symptoms and the causative agent of intestinal infection in children, treatment is prescribed by a doctor.
Drug treatment is also prescribed depending on the signs and symptoms of infection in children: bacterial, viral, parasitic. Often prescribed antiemetic drugs and drugs for diarrhea: "Smekta", activated carbon and so on. At high temperatures, antipyretics are prescribed.
If the child is still breastfed, then the diet is not a question. One-year-old children and more adults who have changed their diet, it is advisable to skip a couple of meals. The more years the baby, the more often you can take breaks for fasting.
With a good appetite, feed it fractionally 6–7 times a day. But in any case, do not make him eat and do not overfeed.
From the diet should be excluded:
- milk and dairy products,
- freshly squeezed juices,
- fruits and vegetables,
- sweets and bakery products
- meat in any form and porridge, until vomiting stops.
Older kids can be given exclusively boiled or steam food. It is best to grind or grind cooked food. Give the baby only warm food (unsalted, unsharp, lean).
If vomiting is not, you can eat low-fat cottage cheese, steam meat products, fish and omelettes, light chicken soup, porridge, boiled in water, kefir and mixtures to restore the microflora.
The diet can last 5 days, and maybe a few weeks. This is decided by the doctor depending on the state of health of the baby.
How to unsolder the child
Otpaivayut children saline solutions. They can be purchased at pharmacies or made independently: in 1 l. boiled water must be diluted 3 tsp. sugar and ½ tsp. salt. Not every kid will like it.
If your child refuses to drink this drink, boil for it a compote of dried fruit. You can, of course, drink ordinary water, tea and whatever. The main thing is that the baby does not die of dehydration. Offer breast milk to infants more often if they do not want to drink saline.
With a severe course of acute intestinal infection, the baby is likely to need hospitalization. The decision on hospitalization in the infectious diseases department of a medical institution is made by a doctor if the following symptoms are present:
- profuse loose stools,
- severe vomiting
- high temperature
- weight loss,
- fluid loss.