Taking care of children with diarrhea when they have Covid-19 – VnExpress

Parents need to rehydrate, supplement with zinc, divide meals … when their children have diarrhea due to Covid-19 infection.

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Besides fever, cough, runny nose, acute diarrhea is also one of the common symptoms in young children with Covid-19. This is the passage of loose or watery stools 3 or more times in 24 hours.

According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting occur in more than 50% of patients infected with Covid-19, among patients with digestive problems. Up to 67% of patients had diarrhea. The reason is that the virus invades and damages intestinal cells, increasing the permeability of intestinal cells, causing diarrhea. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 also changes the receptor of enzymes that change the intestinal microflora.

For the condition of children with diarrhea caused by Covid-19, Dr. Vu Thi Viet Chinh, the group of doctors guiding the treatment of baby F0, recommends that parents need to give their children extra fluids, zinc supplements, continue to feed and care for their children. Monitor the signs to take the child to the doctor as soon as he sees signs of instability. Here are specific notes from the doctor.

Parents need to pay attention and take care when children have diarrhea. Photo: Gleneagles

Drink more fluid

For young children, they need to be breastfed more often and for a longer time at each feeding. Older children need to drink more water such as: oresol solution, soup, porridge, fruit, boiled and cooled water; Avoid giving your child sugary drinks and industrial soft drinks. Mothers need to pay attention when making oresol by themselves when buying packages, mix in the correct ratio as recommended on the package. “Many mothers have the idea of ​​making it thicker to drink more, which is wrong and will make their child’s dehydration worse,” said Dr. Chinh.

How to drink:

Give your child frequent, small sips from a cup or spoon.
– If the child vomits, wait 10 minutes, then continue to give the child the drink, but more slowly.
– Continue giving more fluids until the diarrhea stops.

Amount of fluid to be compensated according to age:


Amount of oresol taken after each diarrhea

Maximum amount of oresol per day
Less than 24 months 50-100ml 500 ml
2 – 10 years old 100-200ml 1,000 ml
10 years older according to demand 2,000 ml

Zinc supplement

Zinc has a good effect on the repair of intestinal epithelium. Therefore, zinc supplementation will help reduce the duration of diarrhea, reduce the number of stools, the severity and duration of the disease in children. Mothers can supplement zinc for their children according to the following dosage:

– Children equal to or less than 6 months: 10mg zinc a day.
– Older than 6 months: 20mg zinc a day.

Use for 10-14 days and need according to the indications and instructions of the doctor.

Continue to feed

Parents should feed their children according to their needs; Encourage children if they are bored, give small amounts of food, avoid giving large amounts of food because increased irritation in the intestines. In addition, parents should supplement lipids from vegetable oils; reduce fiber and sweets in the first days; and use foods rich in nutrients and minerals such as: bananas rich in K, chicken with zinc, carrots, and pumpkins rich in vitamin A.

Some foods should be used for children with diarrhea:

– Banana: easy to digest and absorb, supplement K due to loss in diarrhea. Bananas are also rich in pectin and inulin, which are soluble fibers that help absorb fluids in the intestinal tract.
Rice: low in fiber, easy to digest and absorb.
Apples: rich in pectin, so when apple juice is cooked, the fiber will be more easily absorbed.
– Yogurt: provides bacteria for the intestinal tract.
Meat: is a very good source of protein and other important nutrients.

Some foods should not be used:

– Fastfood.
– Dairy products: butter, cheese, cream, milk. Because when the baby has diarrhea, a part of the enzyme that digests lactose will be lost, causing sugar intolerance, increasing osmotic pressure in the intestinal lumen.
– Products with many simple sugars: soft drinks, candies, cakes.
Gas-producing foods: beans, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, broccoli.
Foods high in fat: increase intestinal contractions.

After the child recovers from diarrhea, parents give the child an extra meal in addition to the usual meals of the day for about 2 weeks to ensure weight recovery.

Watch for unusual signs

Some signs of dehydration mothers can monitor their children such as excited children struggling, lethargy, difficult to wake up; sunken eyes. In addition, dehydration manifests in a mild stage, the child is thirsty, asks to drink water or points to the water bottle (if the child cannot drink or drinks poorly, it is a very serious condition).

To monitor dehydration in children with diarrhea, parents can pay attention to the skin pinching on the abdomen, the vertical line between the navel and the hips, according to Dr. Vu Thi Viet Chinh. “The mother uses 4 fingers to make a flat surface and the thumb to pinch the skin of the abdomen, normally the skin will be elastic again. Children show signs of dehydration when the skin pinch disappears slowly (less than 2 seconds) or very slowly. greater than 2 seconds)”, said Doctor Chinh.

In addition, complications that mothers need to know include: electrolyte disturbances (convulsions, lethargy, coma, abdominal distension, paralytic ileus, decreased muscle tone…); acid-base disorders (rapid, deep breathing…); hypoglycemia (sweating, pale skin, lethargy, convulsions, coma…); acute renal failure (oliguria, edema…).

As soon as the child has abnormal signs like above, parents need to contact the doctors, doctors, medical staff for timely support. Usually, children will need to be supplemented with digestive enzymes and anti-secretory drugs such as Hidrasec (used in day 1, 2 of the disease, used for 3 days). Parents do not arbitrarily use antibiotics, anti-emetics for children (absolutely do not use anti-emetics, drugs to take when having acute diarrhea).

In case the stool has mucus, blood, pus or an unusual color (black like coffee grounds, red…), family members need to take the baby to the hospital or contact the ward’s health care provider for support.

Doctor Viet Chinh recommends that parents need to be careful when using medicines for their children because many mothers abuse antibiotics as well as additional drugs without a doctor’s instructions and instructions, causing consequences. of very unpredictable drug interactions.

“Many children have diarrhea because of drinking and changing dozens of medicines, not to mention some drugs of unknown origin, unorthodox which are bought by mothers through ‘ear-to-mouth’. This is very dangerous. Mothers need it. calm down when your child has diarrhea and need to immediately contact the family doctor or pediatrician to receive the correct advice,” the doctor emphasized.

Hai My

From December 16, the F0 Consulting page of VnExpress open the Share section so that F0 patients or family members can share their home treatment journey, nutrition, exercise, sterilization process, care skills, medical equipment… Readers Share the article or ask the doctor a question here.


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