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Why you should not give a child with gastroenteritis soda or energy drinks

Why you should not give a child with gastroenteritis soda or energy drinks


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Faced with a childhood gastroenteritis, we tend to give our child juices, sports drinks and soft drinks, thinking that this way we keep him hydrated. However, it is a very widespread error.

We explain why you should not offer your child certain drinks in case of gastroenteritis. Discover why it is not advisable to give a child with gastroenteritis soft drinks or energy drinks.

Infant gastroenteritis it is a very common disease among children in summer time. With the arrival of heat, cases of food poisoning increase and as an effect of these, gastroenteritis.

We know that in the case of infantile gastroenteritis, it is essential to maintain good hydration of the child. Many times we try to help, offering our son herbal teas, lemonade, soft drinks and juices and energy drinks, thinking that they will be good for them. Nothing is further from reality. These are the reasons why it is not advisable to offer this type of drink to children:

  • The composition of these drinks not indicated in the case of gastroenteritis and they can cause complications.
  • For oral rehydration you should use specific solutions to replace water and electrolytes that are lost through vomiting and / or diarrhea.

The most important thing in case of gastroenteritis is to avoid or correct dehydration. The ideal, when dehydration is mild or moderate, is oral rehydration, for which specific oral rehydration solutions should be used that replace the water and electrolytes that are lost with vomiting and / or diarrhea.

Home remedies, herbal teas, lemonades, juices, sports drinks or soft drinks should not be used, whose composition is very different, and can lead to complications. In the event of severe dehydration, or oral non-tolerance, intravenous rehydration may be necessary, which is always performed in a hospital setting.

In addition, according to the medical indications of the specialist, some probiotics can be used, beneficial bacteria for the organism that have demonstrated their effectiveness fundamentally by reducing the recovery time from diarrhea, and for which there is currently a recommendation about their use. The other pillar, not medicated, it is a suitable astringent diet depending on the severity of the diarrhea.

Many parents are hesitant about when to take their child to the emergency department in the case of gastroenteritis, one of the most common infections among children. The red flag may be when symptoms of dehydration are observed in children or in the case of suspecting that the cause may be bacterial.

Infant gastroenteritis affects the stomach and intestines and it is usually accompanied by fever, vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain. It is suspected that the cause may be bacterial if the fever is high and there is some alteration of the general state or presence of blood and / or mucus in the stools.

In cases of young children, a heavy loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrheaAlthough there are no signs of dehydration, it could also be a reason to go to the emergency room, preventively, given the risk of it appearing.

But signs of dehydration vary slightly depending on the age of the child:

  • In neonates and young infants: irritability with depression of the fontanel, together with sunken eyes and dry mucous membranes indicate dehydration. The organism saves on the elimination of liquids, with which a cry without tears appears and the urinary volume decreases.
  • In older children: In older children, in addition, a feeling of thirst may occur that the patient is able to express verbally. In both cases (both in infants and in older children) there is a loss of weight that is proportional to the degree of dehydration.

Most gastroenteritis are caused by viruses, but some are due to bacteria. A third possibility is that it is caused by a food allergy or intolerance. Depending on the origin of the gastroenteritis, this will be the most appropriate treatment for the child.

- In bacterial gastroenteritis: In complicated bacterial gastroenteritis (Salmonella, Campylobacter), the use of antibiotics may be necessary. Otherwise, gastroenteritis does not usually require drug treatment. To confirm that it is bacterial, it is necessary to find out what is the cause and to which antibiotic it is sensitive. To do this, a stool culture must be done (examining a stool sample from which a culture is made in which the germs that cause the infection grow and their resistance to different antibiotics is checked). The problem with stool culture is that it can take many days to give results.

- When the cause is viral: When the cause is a viral infection, treatment consists of alleviating the symptoms until children recover from the infection, avoiding the most common complication: dehydration.

Source: Javier Miranda (Head of the Pediatric Area of ​​the Vithas Nisa Virgen del Consuelo and October 9 Hospitals and the Vithas Nisa Rey Don Jaime Hospital)

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