Traveler diarrhea in children may occur if you bring your child during your trip in developing countries, such as Indonesia and Bali.
Diarrhea is a disease that affects the infected person to defecate often, usually, the feces/stools are watery or runny. In general, diarrhea occurs due to consuming food and drinks that are tainted with viruses, bacteria or parasites. Diarrhea usually lasts for a few days (acute), but in some cases, it can extend to weeks (chronic). Diarrhea is not considered dangerous if dehydration does not occur. However, if it’s accompanied by dehydration, this disease can be fatal and the infected person must get immediate medical help. Diarrhea may also occur during your travel, especially in areas with poor hygiene and health standards. The popular term is called Traveler’s Diarrhea. This illness can happen to anyone, such as foreigners and especially children. Traveler diarrhea in children must get the appropriate treatment quickly.
Traveler’s diarrhea is diarrhea that usually affects travelers and children. This can happen after consuming contaminated food or drink while traveling in high-risk areas. High-risk areas that may spread this illness include developing countries that don’t have inadequate health facilities, such as countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, for example, Indonesia and Bali. Foreign tourists, especially children are at risk of getting infected because their immune system isn’t optimal to function yet. Their stomachs will usually react badly after consuming the food there.
The main cause of traveler diarrhea in children is food that is tainted with bacteria, such as E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Shigella S. Contamination can occur if your child consumes food from street vendors or drinks from the tap water while staying in a developing country. Food that is served in street vendors usually has poor hygiene and health standards. In addition, many developing countries in Asia have a humid climate, hence bacteria will develop much faster in food contamination will occur easily. Traveler diarrhea in children can also occur because of eating improperly cooked food and not washing hands before eating and after going to the toilet.
Symptoms of Traveler’s Diarrhea
Symptoms of traveler diarrhea are usually characterized by defecating more than 3-4 times a day. Diarrhea will also cause the body to lose fluids and electrolytes, so the person will feel weak. Other than that, Symptoms of traveler diarrhea in children are as follows:
- Watery feces;
- Bloated stomach;
- Stomach pain;
- Loss of appetite.
If not handled properly, traveler diarrhea in children can lead to dehydration. Dehydration due to diarrhea is caused by fluids and electrolytes that are lost during defecation. Children are especially prone to experience dehydration. If it’s left unchecked, dehydration can cause serious conditions, such as seizures, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and even death.
How to Avoid Traveler Diarrhea in Children
Before traveling with your children, especially to developing countries where the health standard is poor, parents must ensure that they know how to avoid traveler diarrhea in children. Below are some to prevent diarrhea while traveling with your children:
- Don’t let your child consume tap water, only give your child bottled water while traveling in developing countries;
- Make sure to always wash your child’s hands before eating and after going to the toilet;
- Make sure to wash fruits and vegetables before giving it to your child;
- Avoid giving raw meat, raw seafood, undercooked meat, and unpasteurized milk to your child;
- Avoid giving your child food that has been sitting for a long time;
- Only give your child fresh food or freshly cooked meals;
- Make sure to wash your child’s cutlery before eating;
- Don’t give your child food from street vendors.
If your child gets infected with diarrhea while traveling, do not hesitate to book a doctor to treat your child at your location through Medi-Call application or simply contact Medi-Call Hotline at +62 81210783387. If your child experiences dehydration, getting fluid Infusion / IV Therapy is highly recommended to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes so the healing process will be much faster.