Everything parents should know about preventing baby food poisoning
Fact-checked by MFine | Last Updated : November 7th, 2019
Now that your baby is older, you can finally start introducing new foods into their diet! Although you feed healthy food for toddlers, sometimes as they get exposed to more foods, their risk for food poisoning can also increase. With useful health tips for children, you can avoid the onset of any infections of which food poisoning is a common illness. Here's how to prevent and treat baby food poisoning.
As your baby gets older and starts eating new foods, they can become more susceptible to stomach bugs. Baby food poisoning, just as in adults, happens when they eat food or drink water that is tainted with toxins produced by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Babies and children up to the age of five are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning because their immune system is still learning how to fight off germs and infections. Their stomach doesn't have enough acid to kill off these germs. Recognizing baby food poisoning symptoms and knowing when to call the doctor is important to safeguard your little one. Also read The Ultimate Indian Baby Food Chart for 0-12 Months.As babies get bigger they start to eat out at restaurants along with their parents or they might go to playschool. While parents are careful about what they feed their children at home, it is more difficult to monitor the food at restaurants or in schools. While it is difficult to completely protect your child from foodborne illnesses, simple precautions can easily be taken.Avoid foods for the first few hours after your baby first becomes ill as they will not be able to keep anything down. When they are ready to eat, start off with something bland and ensure that it is not oily. Dry crackers, toast and rice are a good start. Ensure that your child is well hydrated as this can help them feel better. Small babies, who are still breastfeeding, have the safest food in the form of their mother’s milk. Do not give babies cow’s milk when they are sick. Small amounts of formula milk, however, are generally safe for infants.
How does a baby get food poisoning?As parents, we take extra care to keep our baby safe from harmful germs. We clean and sanitize our baby’s feeding bottles and prepare food for them safely and naturally. Despite our best efforts, babies can still contract food poisoning. This could be because the water used to prepare their food is contaminated or the food we prepare for them becomes spoiled because it hasn’t been stored properly. Germs can quickly multiply in baby formula or milk and can cause food poisoning.
What are the common baby food poisoning symptoms?Symptoms of food poisoning can occur 20 minutes to 2 days after eating contaminated foods. The usual signs of baby food poisoning are:
- Bouts of vomiting
- Diarrhoea or an upset stomach
- Cramps or pain in the stomach
- Blood in the stool