Watch Out for Digestive Problems in Children & Its EffectsSaturday, 5 May 2018
A healthy digestive system will ensure that the absorption of nutrition proceeds smoothly. Disorders in the digestive system can lead to an inhibition in nutritional absorption, which may disrupt the growth and development of the child. This can also affect the body weight and behaviour of the child, as well as other growth problems. Therefore, parents should be aware of the characteristics that may indicate digestive disorders in the child, as the symptoms may progress into something more serious if not appropriately managed. Digestive disorders can affect anyone. However, these should not be considered trivial as they may potentially lead to other health problems. Digestive disorders in the child can occur due to incomplete development of the digestive system, irregular eating patterns, or consumption of food and drinks that may trigger problems. What are the common digestive disorders encountered in the age group of the child?
- Vomiting Various factors can cause vomiting in a child, including viral infections, food poisoning, fever, frequent coughs, large consumption of food, and anxiety. Vomiting can also be a sign of more serious diseases such as meningitis, appendicitis, or obstruction of the digestive tract. Other symptoms that often accompany vomiting include diarrhea, abdominal pain, or fever. When should you visit the doctor? Take you child to a pediatrician for a consultation if they have vomited more than twice in a day, if there is blood or yellowish liquid in the vomit, or if they are below six years old and cannot consume any food or drinks. You should also take your child to seek medication if there are other accompanying symptoms including fever, diarrhea, or signs of dehydration such as infrequent urination, dry and cracked lips, or weak appearance.
- Abdominal pain Abdominal pain experienced by the child may indicate various digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, or large consumption of food. Abdominal pain generally appears along with other symptoms such as bloating or nausea. Other factors that may cause the child to experience abdominal pain include food allergy, inflammation of the appendix, or pneumonia. When should you visit the doctor? Take your child to a pediatrician for a consultation if they appear to be in severe pain, if the pain increases in intensity, or if the pain has occurred for more than two weeks.
- Constipation There are many things that may cause a child to experience constipation, including a low fiber diet, lack of adequate water consumption, infrequent active movements, or following consumption of certain medications. Symptoms of constipation include abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, pain on defecation, and reduced frequency of defecation. On the other hand, diarrhea may occur due to infection by microorganisms, food allergy, inflammation of the appendix, and other potential causes. When should you visit the doctor? Take your child to a pediatrician for a consultation if there is presence of blood in the stool, if they only defecate once every few days, if there is pain on defecation, or if they require excessive straining to defecate. In case of diarrhea, this should be done if the child refuses to eat or drink and there are signs of dehydration such as infrequent urination, drowsiness, or drastic fall in physical conditions.