Food Poisoning In Babies - 7 Causes & 14 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

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Are you a freak and don’t allow your baby to eat food? Are you really worried that food poisoning could result in a severe disease claiming life of a child? Do you often see your kid vomiting and suffering from diarrhea?

If you agree to even one of the points mentioned above, we are here to help you with detailed information on baby food poisoning.

What Is Food Poisoning?

It’s a condition when a foreign body (read it as bacteria, virus or any other germs) gets into our body via the food or drinks we consume, and releases toxins. These toxins are fatal, and result in food poisoning thus the name food poisoning.

The symptoms of food poisoning could show up immediately after eating the contaminated food or in a day or two. In most of the cases, babies heal by themselves, and there is no medication required. However at times it could be complicated [start of dehydration], and you might need to visit a doctor [1].

Causes Of Baby Food Poisoning:

Let’s quickly look at the causes [1]:

  • Not washing foods and veggies before cooking or feeding them to babies.
  • If you are feeding your baby with unclean hands.
  • Animal-based food like meat, eggs, dairy products could also carry germs.
  • Drinking contaminated water or unclean water bottles could also lead to food poisoning.
  • Storing food items at the wrong temperature could cause contamination.
  • Before feeding, if you are not heating food items properly, it could also lead to the entry of germs into the body.
  • Babies who are vulnerable or have a weak immune system could also be susceptible to food poisoning easily.

[ Read: Food Allergies In Babies ]

Symptoms Of Food Poisoning:

So your baby has accidentally ingested contaminated food. How would you know? We list down common symptoms which could confirm if it’s food poisoning. The symptoms may differ, and not all symptoms are applicable, as each foreign body differs in its reaction. It may happen that some germ reacted for two hours, but some others took almost two days (making the diagnosis tougher) to show symptoms [2]:

The following symptoms if seen in a baby, could mean that food poisoning is severe:

  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Tingling in the arms (babies may not be able to express this, but they may rub their hands or get irritated with that sensation)
  • Breathing trouble
  • Heart or kidney Issues
  • Bleeding

When Should I Call Doctor?

If you see any of the below symptoms, please reach out to the pediatrician immediately [2]:

    • Blood in stool or while vomiting
    • Diarrhea with high fever
    • Vomiting that continues for almost 12 hours
    • If the stool is maroon or black in color
    • Irregular heart beats

Also, look out for these signs of dehydration:

  • No urine or very little pee
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen eyes
  • Very thirsty
  • Weakness and feeble body

What Kind Of Treatment Should I Offer My Baby For Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning has its natural course, and babies recover by themselves. But a dose of antibiotics, prescribed by a doctor may be to take precautions and to avoid the condition to get worse.[3]

However, you may need to admit him to the hospital if dehydration is extreme for a dose of IV fluids (Intravenous fluids).

Points To Note At Home:

  • Feed the baby regularly with clean and safe fluids. Increase the intake of fluids, to to ensure a speedy recovery.
  • Allow the baby to rest properly.
  • Avoid solid foods and dairy products to be on the safer side.
  • A solution of sugar and salt, an electrolyte solution or an Oral Rehydration solution is a good way to treat diarrhea.
  • Don’t give OTC medicines to stop diarrhea, as they could make things worse.

Adopting hygienic habits, cooking food properly, maintaining the temperature accurately and keeping the storage and serving utensils clean are some of the key points in preventing food poisoning.

Hope this information was useful to you. Do let us know in our comments section.

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