What to Feed When Your Child is Down With Cold, Cough, Fever or Diarrhea?
Do not let your child starve. Let him eat or drink what he likes; may prefer soup, juice, coconut water, rice cunjee with salt and other rice preparations, curds, banana and potatoes. Breastfed children should continue breastfeeding. “Rice cunjee” and “water salt and sugar solution" are the treatment of diarrhea. In watery diarrhoeas, no other medicine is needed.
- Rice Cunjee is made by boiling 50 gms of Rice powder in little water until it becomes a thin liquid. Add one level teaspoon of salt and more water to make upto 1 litre of cunjee.
- Water: 1 glass (200 ml), Salt - a pinch, Sugar - 1 teaspoon.
You could add lime juice or orange juice to it to make it a bit sweet/sour as per the taste of your child. Some children prefer without juice. They may prefer juice separately. Keep this solution in a refrigerator or cold place. Consume as much as possible. For adults and teenagers, aim at 1-2 glasses (200 ml. glass) after each loose motion. For younger children aim at half to one glass after each loose motion. If child does not take much at a time or tends to vomit, give few spoons every 5 to 10 mins throughout the day and night. The idea is to ensure enough urine output. Make fresh solution after 24 hours. Wherever possible, boil the water and cool it before adding salt and sugar. (Though boiled water is preferable, it is not essential. Once the solution is ready, do not boil it).
Avoid ready-made packets like Electral.
- A patient passing blood or mucus in stools may need other medicines as well
- Some normally thriving breastfed babies may pass frequent watery or frothy motions. This is not diarrhea and does not need any treatment. At time these motions are green or contain mucus.
Do not be scared of fever. It is our friend. It helps us fight infection. For lowering the temperature, prefer physical methods like keeping the skin cool with the help of light clothing, fan or AC, sponging of whole body with tap or stored water and free flow of air, into the room. If the patient is uncomfortable due to fever or a child is prone to convulsions with sudden rise of fever use paracetamol like Crocin, Pyrigesic, Colpol or Metacin tablets/ syrup with first sign of fever. Never use analgin containing medicines like Novalgin, Ultragin baralgan etc. Analgin containing drugs are very dangerous for all ages.
Dose of Paracetamol: Newborn ¼ teaspoon. Below 1 year, ½ to 1 teaspoon. Older children 1 to 2 teaspoons. Teenagers and adults 1 tablet. Can repeat after 6 hours if required.
Cough & Cold
Cough is a helpful phenomenon. Avoid drugs for same. For irritation cough, mix 2 parts of honey to 1 part of lime juice. Offer ½ teaspoon to a baby around 3 months and 1 tablespoon for an adolescent and adult every 3 to 4 hours. Remember to avoid use of honey in the first month of baby’s life. For cold, medicine is needed. Vicks and mother vaporubs can be dangerous. Avoid use of talcum powder for all ages but specially in infants. Medicated Powders like prickly heat powders can be dangerous.
For Blocked Nose: Take 4 ounces (120 ml) of water, mix it with ¼ teaspoon of salt, boil it and put a few drops into each nostril.
Pour cold water on the affected area, the colder the better. Do not apply any ointment without the advice of your doctor.
If an immunized person suffers from minor injuries, immediately wash with soap and water. No need for tetanus toxoid, “red” medicine, tincture iodine, handy plast or band aid.
Note: If symptoms persist or the looks of the wound cause anxiety. Consult a doctor.
Source: The above information has been provided by Association for Consumers Action on Safety and Health in consultation with the above listed doctors.
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