Children And Diarrhea: Recognizing Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most worrisome complications of diarrhea in children. Mild diarrhea usually doesnt cause significant fluid loss, but moderate or severe diarrhea can.
Severe dehydration is dangerous it can cause seizures, brain damage, even death. Know the signs of dehydration. Call your doctor if your child has:
- Dark yellow urine, or very little or no urine
- Few or no tears when crying
Can You Prevent Diarrhoea In Children
Gastroenteritis is the most common cause of diarrhoea in children. It is highly infectious and easily spread between people, especially between children.
You can help minimise the spread of gastroenteritis by:
- washing your hands regularly, especially after nappy changes and before feeding
- washing your hands before food preparation and after going to the toilet
- wearing gloves when cleaning up diarrhoea or vomit and sealing it in a plastic bag before putting in the bin
Does Yellow Diarrhea Mean Infection
Intestinal infection is another typical reason for yellow stools. Abdominal discomfort and diarrhea are frequent additional symptoms of these diseases. Because the inflamed intestines are unable to adequately absorb fat from eaten food in these circumstances, the excrement frequently becomes yellow.
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What Diarrhea Is Not
- Newborns often stool 8 10 times a day, sometimes passing small, watery stools mixed with yellow, seedy pieces. They also may have several stools each day that are runnier and more mucusy than usual. These are all normal variations and are not a cause for concern.
- Infants may occasionally have one or several stools that are much more loose and foul smelling than usual. This is probably due to a variation in diet or may be for no reason at all. It is not a cause for concern.
- Some infants may have persistent loose, runny stools that never seem to firm up into a normal stool. This can go on for one or two weeks. As long as your child is thriving, not acting sick, and your pediatrician reassures you that your child is well, then there is little reason for concern.
When To Worry About A Rash
Babies have sensitive skin, so even the smallest thing can cause a reaction.
Most rashes are harmless and will improve or disappear within a few days. Always contact your pediatrician if a rash looks suspicious or is accompanied by a fever.
Rashes can sometimes be caused by an allergic reaction. With this comes the risk of anaphylactic shock.
The symptoms of this include:
- Difficulty breathing.
These can be signs of meningitis.
It can be harder to see a change in skin colour on brown and black skin. Check the soles of the feet, palms, lips, tongue and inside the eyelids for colour changes.
As a parent, you may know if your child seems seriously unwell and should trust your own judgement.
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Treating The Underlying Cause
If you’ve been diagnosed with a specific condition that’s causing your diarrhoea, treating this may help improve your symptoms.
- irritable bowel syndrome can be treated with changes to your diet and medications read more about managing IBS
- inflammatory bowel disease can be treated with medications that help reduce inflammation in the bowel
- coeliac disease can be treated by excluding foods containing gluten from your diet read more about treating coeliac disease
- bile acid malabsorption can be treated with medication that helps stop bile building up in the digestive system
What To Do If Your Child Has Diarrhea
You are playing happily with your baby when you suddenly detect a rather unpleasant odor emanating from the diaper area. When you open up the diaper to change it, instead of the usual soft yellow stool, you find a greenish-brown, runny, foul-smelling mess thats all over both baby and his clothes. Your baby has diarrhea. Sound fun? Not when it keeps happening multiple times that day!
There are many causes of loose stools, most of which are not serious. Most diarrhea illnesses are more of a nuisance than a medical problem and clear up easily with extra fluids and minor changes in the diet. The main concern with diarrhea is dehydration. Your babys body contains just the right balance of salts and water. Healthy intestines and kidneys regulate this balance, causing the body to lose water and electrolytes, or dehydrate. Add vomiting and you further increase the risk of dehydration. Here are some guidelines to help you know when to worry and what to do.
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How Do You Diagnose Diarrhea
For the majority of mild diarrhea cases, you wont need medical attention. These cases are self-limited and get better without medical intervention. The key to mild diarrhea is supportive therapy staying hydrated and eating a bland diet.
More serious cases of diarrhea may require medical attention. In these situations, there are a few diagnostic tests that your provider may order. These tests can include:
- Discussing a detailed family history, as well as physical and medical conditions, your travel history, and any sick contacts you may have.
- Doing a stool test on a collected stool sample to check for blood, bacterial infections, parasite and inflammatory markers.
- Doing a breath test to check for lactose or fructose intolerance, and bacterial overgrowth.
- Doing blood work to rule out medical causes of diarrhea such as a thyroid disorder, celiac sprue and pancreatic disorders.
- Doing endoscopic evaluations of your upper and lower digestive tract to rule out organic abnormalities .
Symptoms Of Infant Dehydration From Diarrhea
The most important thing to watch out for if a child has diarrhea is dehydration. This is when the body has lost too much fluid, a condition that can cause a number of complications.
According to the National Childbirth Trust in the United Kingdom, infants are at a higher risk of developing dehydration if they are younger than 1 year old and even more so if they are younger than 6 months old. The organization also notes that infants have an increased risk of dehydration if they had a low birth weight.
Warning signs that an infant is experiencing mild to moderate dehydration include:
- the soft spot, or fontanel, on the infantâs head appears sunken
- less frequent urine
- dark yellow urine
- no or few tears when crying
- dry mouth, lips, and eyes
Symptoms of severe dehydration in babies include:
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How Does Baby Diarrhea Look Like
In addition, baby diarrhea looks watery, and it usually comes in high volumes.The color can range from yellow to green to dark brown. Babies with diarrhea may also act agitated and fussy, and they might have trouble feeding. These side effects can occur with bottle-fed baby diarrhea and breastfed baby diarrhea.
Keep Breastfeeding Or Offering Formula For Babies
Both provide nourishment and hydration, and breast milk could actually help your baby get better a little faster.
Dont water down the formula. Just as when your baby is healthy, its fine to breastfeed on demand. But if your formula-fed baby seems thirsty in between feedings, ask the doctor about offering Pedialyte.
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How Long Does Diarrhea Last In Toddlers
- Children with toddlers diarrhea are healthy children who are growing and developing normally.
- Diet changes may improve or alleviate your childs symptoms.
- Symptoms may improve over time as your childs digestive tract matures.
- Alert your childs doctor if he or she experiences other symptoms with diarrhea such as blood in the stool, weight loss or poor weight gain, chronic fever, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, bowel movement accidents or greasy or oily stools.
Whats The Difference Between Normal Diarrhea And Severe Diarrhea
There are actually several different ways to classify diarrhea. These types of diarrhea include:
- Acute diarrhea: The most common, acute diarrhea is loose watery diarrhea that lasts one to two days. This type doesnt need treatment and it usually goes away after a few days.
- Persistent diarrhea: This type of diarrhea generally persists for several weeks two to four weeks
- Chronic diarrhea: Diarrhea that lasts for more than four weeks or comes and goes regularly over a long period of time is called chronic diarrhea.
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How Long Does Diarrhea Last In A Newborn
Constipation and diarrhea in newborns can be cause for concern for parents. Constipation can usually be treated at home or with advice from your doctor. If your newborn has diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, you should see a doctor because they may have a bacterial or viral infection.
How To Get Rid Of Pacifier Rash
There are few ways that you can get rid of that rash that has been causing trouble to your little one. Depending on the kind of rash, some might help your baby, and you will be able to see a difference, while some might not be able to help.
- Cleaning the rash twice a day with a mild soap is one way to treat that rash. You can choose a mild soap, baby soap, and clean the affected area gently with warm water. To dry it, pat it gently with a gentle and remember to not rub it in any way that might cause pain to your baby.
- Applying a cream to provide moisture to the dry rash area can better the condition. You can use any gentle cream to apply to the rash area or baby cream that many branded companies sell. Petroleum jelly is also a good alternative, the primary purpose being to provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- The same goes for the bathing time you might want to use a mild soap to wash your baby. A gentle or mild soap always is better to provide relief to your babys skin. As the ingredients are such that soothe the skin.
- Keep the rash area dry as much as possible. You already know why and how a rash is caused doing this is the basic necessity. Whenever youre breastfeeding, feeding food, or generally, wipe your babys saliva and foreign substances that might cause the rash. Keep the skin around their mouth dry and clean.
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For The First 4 Hours Of Oral Rehydration
|Babies under 6 months of age||30 to 90 mL every hour|
|Children 6 months to 2 years of age||90 to 125 mL every hour|
|Over 2 years of age||At least 125 to 250 mL every hour|
If your child refuses to take the ORS by the cup or bottle, give the solution using a medicine dropper, a syringe, a small teaspoon or frozen pops.
If your child vomits, stop foods and other fluids, but continue to give the ORS using a spoon.
- Give 15 mL every 10 min to 15 min until the vomiting stops.
- Increase the amounts gradually until your child is able to drink the regular amounts.
- If your child continues vomiting for longer than 4 to 6 hours, take your child to the hospital.
Other Causes Of Vomiting In Babies
In some cases, vomiting might be a sign of something other than gastroenteritis and in rare cases could be a sign of a serious illness.
In babies, the cause of diarrhoea and vomiting could also be swallowing air during feeding, a milk intolerance or reflux .
In older children, food allergies can cause vomiting in children . Food allergies can also cause other symptoms, such as a raised, red, itchy skin rash and swelling. The swelling will affect the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue or the roof of the mouth.
Vomiting can sometimes be a sign of other infections such as urinary tract infections , middle ear infections, pneumonia or meningitis . Contact your GP if your child is vomiting and has other signs of infection like a high temperature and irritability.
Appendicitis can cause vomiting. This is a painful swelling of the appendix, which causes severe stomach pain . If your child has tummy pain that’s gradually getting worse, contact your GP or NHS 111 immediately. You should call 999 for an ambulance if they have pain that gets worse quickly and spreads across their tummy.
Accidentally swallowing something poisonous can cause your child to vomit. If you think they have swallowed something dangerous like medicine, chemicals or button batteries, act quickly to get them to your nearest emergency department . Take the medicine or packaging with you.
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When Your Child Has Diarrhea
Diarrhea is the passage of loose or watery stools. For some children, diarrhea is mild and will go away within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make your child lose too much fluid and feel weak.
The stomach flu is a common cause of diarrhea. Medical treatments, such as antibiotics and some cancer treatments can also cause diarrhea.
This article speaks of diarrhea in children over 1 year of age.
What Are The First Signs Of Teething
- Where the tooth is showing through, their gum is inflamed and red.
- They are at a comfortable 38C.
- One of their cheeks is flushed.
- On their face, they have a rash.
- They have their ear rubbed.
- More so than usual, they are dribbling.
- They are frequently chewing and gnawing on objects.
- They are more anxious than normal.
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When To Call A Doctor
The two colors that a babys poop or diarrhea should never be are white and red. Call your babys pediatrician immediately if you see these colors in your little ones diaper.
Very light or white poop can be a sign of a liver problem. Red diarrhea or poop can mean theres bleeding somewhere inside.
Also call your doctor if your baby has severe diarrhea, or more than 10 watery poops a day.
Get medical attention if your baby has other symptoms or signs of illness along with diarrhea. These include:
- lots of vomiting
Treatment Of Mild To Moderate Diarrhea
If your baby or toddler has diarrhea but no other symptoms and is behaving completely normally and eating normally, you may not have to seek treatment or make any adjustments to her diet.
Continue to feed her regularlyâwhether that’s with solid food, breast milk, or formulaâas the episode of diarrhea may clear up on its own. If anything, you may consider reducing portion sizes of solid food.
If your child is vomiting in addition to having diarrhea, you might consider giving her a store-bought electrolyte solution in place of her normal diet. But check with her healthcare provider first. Ask any questions you may have, especially about dosage and when to give the solution.
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Can Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea
Most antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics can change the balance of bacteria normally found in the intestines, allowing certain types of bacteria like C. difficile to thrive. When this happens, your colon can become overrun by bad bacteria that causes colitis .
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea can begin any time while youre taking the antibiotic or shortly thereafter. If you experience this side effect, call your healthcare provider to talk about the diarrhea and discuss the best option to relieve this side effect.
Symptoms Of Severe Diaper Rash From Diarrhea
If watery diarrhea is the settled culprit, there are numerous symptoms to watch for. When sudden liquid bowel movements are contributing, its likely your babys red rash wont slacken and will gradually worsen in darkness and irritation. Intermediate flakes and scales could also arise, alongside miniature red swellings. Your babys skin may even start to peel as a result of severe diaper rash from diarrhea, and it will feel more uncomfortable for your child than milder conditions especially when paired with the likelihood of sickness causing the diarrhea in the first place.
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How Long Does Diarrhea Last For A Baby
How long will diarrhea last? Most of the time mild diarrhea lasts from 3 to 6 days. Sometimes a child will have loose stools for several days more. As long as the child acts well and is drinking and eating enough, parents do not need to worry about loose stools.
What can I give my baby to stop diarrhea?
Diet for Children With Diarrhea
- Baked or broiled beef, pork, chicken, fish, or turkey.
- Cereals such as cream of wheat, farina, oatmeal, and cornflakes.
- Pancakes and waffles made with white flour.
Why is my babys poop yellow and watery?
Its normal to see bright-yellow poop in breastfed babies. Bright-yellow poop thats much more frequent than usual and extremely runny, though, could be diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the risk for dehydration.
How Long Does Diarrhea Last
Diarrhea can be acute or chronic .
Acute diarrhea generally lasts for 1 to 2 days. It can sometimes last up to 2 weeks. However, this type of diarrhea is usually mild and resolves on its own.
Chronic diarrhea lasts for at least 4 weeks. The symptoms might come and go, but it could be a sign of a serious condition.
Diarrhea can have many possible causes. The duration of diarrhea, along with any additional symptoms, depends on the cause.
Acute diarrhea might occur from:
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What Color Is Teething Diarrhea
The color and smell of your childs excrement may also alter if they are experiencing diarrhea. Diarrhea can make the stool become green, and the stench can be really unpleasant. Why does diarrhea occur in babies who are teething? The American Academy of Pediatrics states that diarrhea is not a direct result of teething.