Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Nursing Kids with Stomach Upset

The new year has not been so good for my 2 kids so far. On the 31st December 2009, Arianna was vomiting a few times and her stool was a bit runny. Wifey and I decided to take her to the clinic that night and the only available doctor is the one who was unlucky enough to have to work during New Year's eve. I have to refrain myself from using the term "food poisoning" in this post as per advised by this young doctor. I bet he just got out of medical school and proud enough to explain to us that "food poisoning" is a terminology used to describe when a group of people go out for a meal and that group of people came back with purging and vomiting. In that particular case, he is obliged to report that to the Health Department for them to investigate the food outlet. In this case since Arianna is the only one having this symptoms, we should only refer it as "stomach upset". In Malay, instead of using "keracunan makanan", we should say "perut kecewa". One day if I meet the same doctor again with the same symptoms, I will tell him that "perut saya kecewa, saya muntah dan berak cair".

Anyway this doctor said kids will have stomach upset as a result of their body wanting to dispose the unwanted items (toxin would be a better term) from the body. The best treatment is to allow the body to run its course while maintaining sufficient amount of liquid in the body and try not to try to make the stomach to work harder. The doctor prescribed vomit suppressant, anti colic and Smecta. Initially he mentioned rehydration salt such as ORS will help to keep the body hydrated, then he mentioned Smecta will serve the same function as ORS. At that point of time, I just had to conclude that this guy really need to have his New Year's eve break. I think most of us have our own experience of "stomach upset" before and we all know that Smecta is absorbent agent to absorb the toxin from the stomach. The doctor even described a bit regarding probiotics on whether it will help or not, what are the difference between Vitagen and Yakult, but by then I just couldn't give a damn on what he says anymore.

So on New Year day, Arianna was getting better. Unfortunately on 3rd January (Sunday) it was Wildan's turn to get the "stomach upset". Apparently Arianna got it back again, as well as the maid. So does 3 people having stomach upset will qualify for this to be called as food poisoning?

Alhamudulillah on Monday the kids are showing good signs of recovering. Thanks Wifey for taking the day off to take care of the kids. To end this post I would like to share a few pointers on how to take care of kids with stomach upset.

  • Make sure the kids are well hydrated. Sign of dehydrated kids are pale tongue, dry skin and feverish. If the kid has purging and goes to the toilet for more than 4 times in a short period of time, it is advised to go to the hospital. High chance the kid needs to be on drip.
  • Rehydration salt like ORS helps but it doesn't taste so nice. If the kid is okay with Isotonic drink like 100Plus, then the parents should shake the gas out of the drink and serve.
  • Stay away from dairy products. I know it is unavoidable for babies as that is the only source of energy for them. One way is to mix the milk formula at a much lower dosage. If before this one scoop of formula to one oz. of water, then try to half the portion of formula. This is another chance for us to mix the Smecta in the babies milk.
  • Consume simple food. While the stomach being upset and working hard removing the toxin out, the last thing that the stomach want is complex food that requires more process to digest. Keep it simple such as bread (toasted if possible) or plain porridge. Avoid oily food.
  • Last but not least, keep the kids comfy. As adults we know how frustrating it is to make the numerous visits to the toilet. They will be cranky and weak, hence why they need their parents to be by their side to endure their "kekecewaan perut".

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