As a mother, we do what is best for our children’s health and well-being and try to ensure they do not contract any disease or infection. Despite our best efforts, the little ones do fall sick, and sometimes the diseases can be potentially deadly, like Typhoid. In such situations, it is best to be prepared and know what you can do to deal with typhoid in children.
Causes of Typhoid in children
Typhoid is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria, hence the name typhoid. Typhoid is a disease caused by poor sanitation or hygiene and is more common in developing countries with sanitation problems and lack of availability of clean drinking water. It is generally contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by eating or drinking food which has been handled by someone who already has typhoid. The typhi bacteria get into the body and quickly multiply and spread into the bloodstream.
Also read: Morning Sickness: Causes and Remedies to Treat Morning Sickness
Symptoms of Typhoid in children
#1. High fever
The child will have a fever which starts off as a mild fever but builds into a high fever and does not subside.
#2. Gastrointestinal problems
The child can experience severe stomach pain and diarrhoea with the fever.
#3. Loss of appetite
The child can experience low appetite accompanied by a sore throat.
The child might be extremely tired and week, even after taking rest and might have difficulty simply sitting up.
Skin rash with pink spots could also appear, especially on the lower chest area.
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#5. Weight loss and swollen belly
If left untreated for some time, the child begins to lose weight and develop a swollen or bloated belly.
If your child has a fever and is showing any of these symptoms, you should take him to the doctor immediately. The accurate test for diagnosing Typhoid is by conducting a stool/urine test in the laboratory.
Treatment of Typhoid in children
Timely medical treatment with antibiotics is important in typhoid as if left untreated it becomes a serious, life-threatening disease. It is important to complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.
Home Remedies to aid in the recovery from Typhoid
There are no home remedies to prevent your child from contracting typhoid. However, home remedies can provide nutritional support and help the sick child recover faster.
It is possible for the child who has typhoid to get dehydrated because of diarrhoea and poor appetite, therefore hydration is the most important step. Offer them lots of fluid - water, fresh fruit juices, sugar cane juice, coconut water, and even ORS solution.
Also read: 21 Iron Rich Foods for babies and toddlers
#2. Basil (Tulsi)
The basil plant has an important role in Ayurveda because of its antibiotic properties and is said to cure many diseases. Give the child suffering from typhoid these concoctions to help fight the bacterial infection and improve immunity.
How to make Tulsi Kadha
- Boil a few basil leaves with water and add a spoon of honey to make basil tea. Make the child drink this tea once or twice a day.
- Mix a spoon of basil leaf juice with a spoon of ginger juice, honey and a pinch of black pepper. A spoon of this mixture can be offered twice a day.
Research has indicated that bananas, especially when eaten with milk or buttermilk, help maintain nutrition in typhoid patients. They are high in calories, minerals, vitamins, and also easy to digest.
You could give the child suffering from typhoid eggs. They are easier to digest as compared to meat and can make up for protein deficiency in the body. Vegetarians can eat legumes, cottage cheese, and yogurt that are high in protein as well.
Steps to prevent typhoid in children
Other than these remedies, certain steps should be taken to prevent your child from getting typhoid:
The first and most important step is to vaccinate your child. Typhoid vaccine is given to children older than 2 years of age to prevent them from contracting the disease. Speak to your doctor about this vaccine immediately.
#2. Food Hygiene
Eat hygienically prepared healthy and nutritious food.
Also read: How Much Protein Does Your Child Need? (6 months to 3 years)
#3. No street food
Refrain from eating outside food, especially during the monsoon season. Street food in the monsoons should be a complete no-no.
#4. No pre-cut fruits and vegetables
When dining at a buffet, refrain from eating pre-cut salads and fruits as there are chances they haven’t been washed properly.
#5. Safe Drinking water
Drink bottled water only as contaminated water is a common cause of typhoid infection.
#6. Personal Hygiene
Teach your child to wash their hands with soap and water every time they come home from outside after playing, after using the toilet and before eating food.
Also read: 8 Precautions in Breastfeeding when Mom is Sick (Including 5 Advantages)
Taking all these precautions and vaccination greatly reduce the chances of your child contracting typhoid. If they still do, do not panic. Timely medical intervention, a healthy diet and a generous dose of mother’s love will have them up and running like their old selves in no time again.
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