Signs of food poisoning in a child
Food poisoning is a complex of pathological symptoms that arise when eating malnourished or poisonous food.
Physicians sometimes use the term "toxicoinfection", which combines the causes of the disease (poisoning): toxicity, bacteria and a mixed variant.
Causes of food poisoning
By the term "poor-quality product" is understood a normal daily food product, which for some reason has acquired a danger for eating.
Here the following options are possible:
- Expiration date of the product has expired (rotting and decomposition processes lead to the accumulation of toxic toxins in it);
- contamination of a fresh product with harmful bacteria (for example, on unwashed fruit one can often find an E. coli, eggshell eggs on salmonella);
- defeat of fresh product with toxins of bacteria (in case of violation of the technology of preparation of creams they can get toxins of staphylococcus).
The second group combines a lot of dangerous bacteria (rods and cocci), when they get into the body there are signs of food poisoning. Botulism, escherichiosis, salmonellosis, dysentery - this is an incomplete list of infectious lesions of the gastrointestinal tract.
It should be noted that all these diseases doctors infectious diseases are not referred to food poisoning, but to acute intestinal infections (OCI), but only in the laboratory detection of bacteria. If the microorganism specific for these diseases could not be identified, and the clinical picture does not cause doubts, then the general concept - toxicoinfection - is used.
So, in addition to poisoning with poor-quality products, often in medical practice one has to face poisoning with poisonous plants or chemical poisons that get into food. If spoiled food has a risk of poisoning everything, poisonous plants, medicines and household chemicals are used mostly by children, because of ignorance or negligence.
Features of food poisoning in children
Due to immaturity of systems and organs, food poisoning in a child is more severe than in adults. Sometimes one and the same food does not cause any harm to the mother, but can cause severe toxic infections in her baby.
Let us consider in more detail the reasons for the failure of the child's organism:
- Reduced acidity of gastric juice, which is the first barrier to pathogens bacteria;
- insufficient protective function of the liver (in other words, not fully formed system of enzymes necessary for neutralization, binding and excretion of poisons by the liver);
- rapid absorption of toxins from the mucous membranes of the mouth, stomach and intestines (this is due to a well-developed system of blood supply to organs);
- low filtration ability of the kidneys;
- violation of normal protective microflora of the intestine (dysbacteriosis is often found in young children).
All of the above leads to the fact that food poisoning occurs in children more often, manifest early and quickly, and proceed much more heavily than in an adult. That's why when symptoms of food poisoning occur in children, you should consult a doctor!
Independently, you can treat at home only light toxic infections with a minor violation of the general condition of the child.
It is absolutely unacceptable to engage in self-treatment of newborns (from birth to one year), since the incidence of severe complications in this group of children is quite high!
Clinical picture of food poisoning in a child
Poisoning in children is divided into a period of asymptomatic disease and the period of the unfolded clinical picture.
The period of asymptomatic flow (latent)
This time from getting into the body of infection to the first signs of its manifestation. The duration of it can be from 30 minutes to a day and depends on the age of the child, the amount of food eaten, the type of toxin or pathogen, individual characteristics. Symptoms may or may not be at all, or appear weakness, malaise, discomfort, sweating. Once a certain amount of poison is absorbed into the blood, the first signs of food poisoning appear.
The period of the unfolded clinical picture
The period from getting the toxin into the blood to its complete elimination (elimination from the body). The duration of this stage of poisoning depends not only on the reaction of the child's organism to the toxin, but also on the timeliness of the measures taken (usually no more than 5-6 days).
Food poisoning with symptoms of gastric and intestinal mucosa (acute gastroenteritis), general intoxication and dehydration (fluid loss) is manifested. As discomfort and weakness increase, nausea appears, the child becomes sluggish, drowsy, refuses to eat. The body temperature rises (in children up to 3-5 years can reach 39.5 degrees Celsius), there are different manifestations of pain in the abdomen. The latter are caused by spasm of smooth muscles of the stomach and intestines. To quickly remove toxins that get inside, the body uses a protective reaction: vomiting and diarrhea. It should be remembered that triple vomiting in children already requires urgent measures to restore the water-electrolyte balance.
Vomiting in a child with food poisoning, like diarrhea, can occur 10-12 times a day! Loss of fluid leads to signs of dehydration:
- pointed features of the face;
- dry skin;
- convulsions, anuria, hypotension (lowering of arterial pressure), acidosis (acidification of blood) appear with significant dehydration and are dangerous complications of toxic infection.
In most cases, the main manifestations of poisoning decrease in the first 1-3 days, leaving behind a feeling of weakness and drowsiness. For some time, abdominal pain, headache, lack of appetite, and upset of the stool may persist.
What to do if there are signs of food poisoning in children
The above-described symptoms of food-borne infections are nonspecific, that is, typical for most poisonings. When eating poisonous plants (berries of lily of the valley, nightshade, aconite, castor-bean, belladonna and others), certain medicines and household chemicals, poisonous mushrooms, in addition to the standard signs, symptoms appear that are specific for a particular poison.
With any food poisoning in the child, parents can be advised the following:
- if there are suspicious or unusual symptoms on the background of food poisoning, such as convulsions, loss of consciousness, severe tachycardia, low blood pressure, severe headache, blurred vision, speech, unsteady gait, vomiting or stool with blood, hallucinations, shortness of breath- help;
- food poisoning in newborns (children under one year) is treated only under the supervision of a pediatrician's doctor;
- In case of severe poisoning, hospitalization in hospital is indicated.
Treatment of food poisoning in children
The complex of medical measures is formed on the basis of the severity of the clinical picture, the age of the child and the type of toxin (the cause of intoxication). So, what should parents do with food poisoning from the child? How to effectively and quickly cure food poisoning?
The most important thing is to make up for the loss of fluid! Pediatricians with great success use the solution of Regidron, which should be given to the child in the amount of 1-2 tablespoons every 10 minutes and after each vomiting or loose stool. In the absence of the drug, you can use ordinary boiled water.
The basic rule that parents need to remember is to give water in small quantities, but often.
At the first signs of food poisoning before the appearance of vomiting, sorbents (activated carbon, Polysorb, Smekta, Enterosgel) are not bad at all.
The mechanism of action of drugs is to absorb toxic substances and toxins on their surfaces and remove them. Thus, the earlier they were taken, the greater the chance of reducing the flow of toxin into the blood.
Intestinal antibiotics and antidiarrhoeal preparations
This group of medicines should be used only for the doctor's prescription and for laboratory diagnosis of acute intestinal infection (eg, salmonella, botulism, dysentery). By independently deciding to give children intestinal antibiotics and antidiarrhoeal drugs, you act at your own risk!
In some cases, it is possible to use the Enterofuril suspension or Loperamide capsules alone to reduce diarrhea.
Preparations for the recovery of microflora can begin to give the child after stopping vomiting. They accelerate recovery, reduce the severity of symptoms of poisoning, help in the fight against disease-causing bacteria.
Probiotics are used for both treatment and prevention of poisoning and infections.
At the time of treatment the child needs a sparing diet with the restriction of flour, sweet, fatty, acute and salty. Completely exclude juices, dairy products and semi-finished products.
In conclusion, I would like to say that all medical measures, their duration, doses of drugs should be prescribed only by the attending physician. Help with severe food poisoning in a child is provided only in a hospital. The best prevention of food poisoning is the observance of sanitary and hygienic norms and rules.