Digestion refers to the process of food being broken down into smaller component for easier absorption by the body. There is a belief that food should be chewed 36 times otherwise it leads to problems in the tummy. Well, most of us forget this golden rule -and kids are light-years away from so much chewing!
In fact most of the kids are nonstop eaters and then comes a day when that dreaded stomach ache occurs. Reason? The continuous eating and chomping down of those chips and chocolates became just a little too much for the stomach. Such aches come and go but a there are some which need attention.
Some of the common problems of digestion in children are:
■ Vomiting: This is a very common occurrence in children. They vomit for everything and anything – over eating, excitement, fever, cough bouts, viral infection. Of course these need medical attention but most of the times keeping the child hydrated does the trick. The more serious problems arise when there is vomiting more than once and it is along with blood or bile. Vomiting may be accompanied by diarrhea and dehydration.
■ Abdominal pain: Stomach pain in kids maybe for a lot of common reasons like constipation, formation of gas, gastroenteritis, gastritis, food poisoning, over eating or diarrhea. Some more serious reasons might be appendicitis, irritable bowel symptom or food allergies
■ Constipation and diarrhea: For children constipation can be caused due to stress of potty training, drinking of fewer fluids, less fiber in food, lack of exercise or eating food that might cause constipation. Diarrhea on the other hand may be due to food poisoning, over eating or eating food that does not suit. These problems become a matter of concern if the kids’ stools show stains of blood, the child has problem passing motion due to hardening of bowel or if the child complains of constant stomach cramps and aches.
■ Gastro-esophageal reflux: This refers to the acidic backflow of reflux due to some trigger food like chocolates, peppermints and fatty food. Avoiding these foods will help by avoiding such problems for the like poor weight gain, problems in breathing, vomiting green or yellow fluids, stomach and chest pain, poor appetite, cough which does not seem to go away and problems in swallowing liquids and solids.
There are many more reasons for a child’s digestion going wrong. Such problems automatically make the kids cranky and moody. Just because you child is constantly crying do not dismiss the signs as that of a crybaby. Your little bundle of joy might not have learnt all the words to tell you everything correctly or may be does not know yet how to express feelings properly. Next your baby cries try soothing words and softly press on the tummy. If the child cries harder you have your answer.