Diarrhoea is very common and is a major cause of death in young children. It is particularly common in the summer months when it’s hot, so food goes off or rots easily and there are many flies around.
Diarrhoea is when the young child has many watery stools or poos very frequently during the day and night. Because babies and small children have small bodies this means they lose the water and salts out of their bodies very quickly and unless this is stopped, the young child becomes dehydrated and can die. It is the dehydration that kills babies and small children.
Diarrhoea is also contagious and can quickly spread to other children or family members. Parents need to make sure that everyone in the home drinks and uses safe water, it should be boiled if you are not sure if it’s safe. The family members should also always wash their hands with soap after toileting or changing nappies, and before preparing food or eating.
It is important to dispose of faeces, poo (down the toilet) and nappies safely by burying them in a pit away from water sources so that you can stop further spread.