India with Kids: Dealing with a sick child.

October 6, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Post #19:

Daniel was really sick overnight as a result of (probably) eating chicken in a fish restaurant.  He showed all the symptoms of some kind of food poisoning and by morning was dehydrated. While we didn’t feel that this warranted a visit to a doctor or hospital immediately, we were prepared to do this if we couldn’t treat it ourselves. Dehydration is never a joke and if not taken care of certainly will lead to a hospital bed.

The problem was that we had to move on from Cochin – Raja picked us up from the hotel and Daniel, feeling miserable, had to get into the van.  Raja was very optimistic that Daniel would be on the mend soon.  We were in Kerala, a region very strongly influenced by Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system dating back thousands of years and our next stop was a homestay deep in the Keralan countryside, an area where Ayurveda is still practised regularly.

To reach our homestay we had to take a short boat ride to an old plantation called Emerald Isle, and when we arrived, we immediately informed the family of Daniel’s situation.  The motherly lady of the house told us that dysentery and dehydration are common problems in rural India amongst local children and she was well prepared to offer a solution.  She suggested fresh rice water, and a ginger concoction to follow.  Daniel was struggling to keep anything down, but when the rice water was ready he drank it and went to sleep. When he woke up he was given the ginger mixture. By nightfall he was feeling much better and was able to eat some rice.  A folk remedy perhaps, but it worked, most probably a lot better than the rehydration salts we had brought with us.

Taking it easy at Emerald Isle

Taking it easy at Emerald Isle

This was our second episode of food poisoning and dehydration on our trip so far.  The lesson learned – be vigilant about what you eat in India, all the time!

PS These days I’m planning great trips for families to India. For more info on how I can help your family, visit here.