10 Messages for Children to Learn and Share on Diarrhoea
In May we focus on the topic of DIARRHOEA and what children need to know so they can help to prevent and control diarrhoea. Here are our 10 messages on DIARRHOEA…
Do you work with children? Do you work with any programmes who do? Please share these messages with them. We would love to hear feedback from practitioners and others who might use or adapt such messages.
- Diarrhoea is watery poo that happens three or more times a day. It can lead to dangerous dehydration.
- Diarrhoea is caused by tiny germs that are too small to see. Germs live all around us! Germs travel easily from our fingers, food, drinks, cups and spoons into our mouths and bodies.
- Diarrhoea causes us to lose vital fluids from our bodies. We need to replace fluids and salts to keep the body strong and prevent serious illness or even death from dehydration.
- A child with dehydration can have dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes, no tears, loose skin, cool hands and feet. Babies can have a sunken soft spot on the head. Spot these signs? Take them to a clinic urgently.
- ORS stands for Oral Rehydration Solution, the best drink to prevent and treat dehydration. Find packets, to make ORS, at clinics and shops.
- Prevent dehydration by using ORS as soon as diarrhoea begins. Mix ORS correctly with clean, safe water following the instructions on the packet. Breast milk is best for babies.
- Children doing more than three watery poos a day or bloody poo or who start to vomit too MUST be seen by a health worker. Give ORS or other fluids while waiting to be seen.
- Zinc tablets can reduce the amount of poo and can help children recover more quickly from diarrhoea. Health workers instruct us how to take Zinc with ORS. Five fluids too, to prevent dehydration.
- Young children with diarrhoea need every day tasty, mashed food and soups as often as possible to make their body stronger.
- Prevent germs spreading! Develop everyday habits like proper handwashing with soap, good hygiene after toilet, before eating and preparing food. Breastfeed babies and immunise against measles and rotavirus.
The messages can be used by educators to use with children, as SMS text messages for older children or for households or ideas for campaigns, quizzes or games and on the social media – find out more on our Diarrhoea page.
Help children to make a Rainbow Stick to record the messages they learn!