Diarrhea Treatment For Kids
The treatment for diarrhea in children depends on whats causing it. In most cases of acute diarrhea, a fluid replenishment is the only treatment needed. Medication may be necessary in some cases to stop diarrhea and prevent excess loss of body fluids if the condition persists for over 24 hours.
- Rehydration is one of the best ways to treat diarrhea in children. However, water alone will not have the necessary salts and nutrients. So give the child an oral re-hydration solution at frequent intervals throughout the day. Talk to the doctor before you do so.
- If oral re-hydration solutions are not available, mix half-a-spoon of salt and half-a-spoon of sugar in a glass of water and mix it well before giving it to the child.
- Diarrhea-stopping medicines can be recommended in a case of severe diarrhea, to prevent excess loss of body fluids. Medications are not given in the case of bacterial or parasitic infections, as stopping diarrhea will trap the infection-causing parasites inside the body .
- A healthy diet with foods minimizes the symptoms. Below is a list of foods a child should and should not eat when suffering from diarrhea.
Diarrhea In Babies And Toddlers
Is your pint-size poop machine outputting more than usual? Is a lot of the mess winding up on her back rather than in her diaper or the toilet seat instead of in the potty?
Diarrhea in babies and toddlers has a variety of causes, and frequent, watery poops can make her uncomfortable and cause diaper rash.
Diarrhea can also lead to dehydration, which can be harmful to your little one. Monitor your childs wet diapers or the number of times she pees in the potty. Babies should pee every six to 12 hours and toddlers should pee at least a couple times a day.
Thats why running the runs out of town is your mama mission and knowing whats causing diarrhea in your baby or toddler can get you closer to curing her. See if these symptoms match up with what your sweeties experiencing, and then check with your pediatrician for an official diagnosis and get-well plan.
Should I Call My Doctor About Baby Diarrhea
Yes. You should always let your doctor know if your baby has diarrhea, especially if your baby is under 3 months old. It is also very important to monitor for other signs of illness such as throwing up , not peeing, having blood in poop or black poop, or showing signs of a fever.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Diarrhea
Proper handwashing can reduce the spread of bacteria that may cause diarrhea.
A rotavirus vaccine can prevent diarrhea caused by rotaviruses. Ask your child’s healthcare provider which vaccines are right for your child.
When you travel, make sure anything your child eats and drinks is safe. This is even more important if you travel to developing countries.
Travel safety tips for drinking and eating include:
Not drinking tap water or using it to brush teeth
Not using ice made from tap water
Not drinking unpasteurized milk
Not eating raw fruits and vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself
Not eating raw or undercooked meat or fish
Not eating food from street vendors or food trucks
Talk with your child’s healthcare provider before traveling.
What If My Child Is Dehydrated
For kids who show signs of mild dehydration, doctors recommend giving oral rehydration solutions . These are available in most grocery stores and drugstores without a prescription and replace body fluids as needed. Your doctor will tell you what kind to give, how much, and for how long.
Kids should not be rehydrated with water alone because it doesn’t contain the right mix of sodium, potassium, and other important minerals and nutrients.
In some cases, kids with severe diarrhea may need to get IV fluids at the hospital for a few hours to help treat the dehydration.
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What Are The Complications Of Untreated Infant Diarrhea
Diarrhea may not come alone always. It could, sometimes, lead to further complications, such as:
The babys treatment needs to be complimented with home care for the little one to recover soon.
When Should I Seek Medical Advice
As mentioned already, most children with diarrhoea have mild symptoms which get better in a few days. The important thing is to ensure that they have plenty to drink. In many cases, you do not need to seek medical advice. However, you should seek medical advice in the following situations :
- If your child is under the age of 6 months.
- If your child has an underlying medical condition .
- If your child has a high temperature .
- If you suspect lack of fluid in the body is developing .
- If your child appears drowsy or confused.
- If your child is being sick and unable to keep fluids down.
- If there is blood in their diarrhoea or vomit.
- If your child has severe tummy pain.
- Infections caught abroad.
- If your child has severe symptoms, or if you feel that their condition is getting worse.
- If your child’s symptoms are not settling .
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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 unless your babys doctor tells you to. 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.
Stick With Bland Foods In Smaller More Frequent Portions
For older babies and toddlers, options like bananas, plain pasta, toast, rice cereal or plain crackers are both easy on the stomach and have a binding effect.
If she has a bigger appetite, try things like skinless plain baked chicken or turkey, hard-boiled eggs, baked potatoes or plain pancakes without syrup.
Dealing with diarrhea from antibiotics? Plain probiotic yogurt containing active, live cultures can ease your childs symptoms by getting more good bacteria into her gut, research shows.
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Other Causes In Formula
Added formula ingredients
Using a certain formula or changing formulas can cause diarrhea in babies. Some babies just find many formulas harder to digest, though this is uncommon. It might take them a little while to get used to a new formula. This can lead to tummy cramps, gas, and diarrhea.
Milk allergy or intolerance
Milk allergy and milk intolerance are two difference things, but they can both sometimes cause diarrhea in babies. However, an allergy is uncommon. Only about 7 percent of babies under 1 year old are allergic to cows milk.
This kind of allergy can cause diarrhea, vomiting, or other symptoms right after feeding, or even hours to days later. Most children grow out of this allergy around the age of 5 years old.
Milk intolerance happens when your little ones stomach cant digest lactose, the sugars found in milk. Your baby might get this temporarily after having a stomach bug. Your baby might get diarrhea right after feeding even though they were fine with this kind of formula before.
If your baby has trouble with milk-derived formulas, check the label for ingredients like:
Causes Of Acute Diarrhea
- Virus . An infection of the intestines from a virus is the most common cause.
- Bacteria . Less common cause. Diarrhea often contains streaks of blood.
- Giardia . More likely in child care center outbreaks.
- Antibiotic Diarrhea. Many antibiotics cause mild diarrhea. This is not an allergic reaction. Keep giving the antibiotic. Call your doctor if any serious symptoms occur.
- Serious Causes. Most bacterial diarrhea goes away on its own. A few can cause a severe large bowel infection . C. difficile is a serious cause that can occur after being on strong antibiotics.
- Serious Complication: Dehydration. This is the health problem where the body has lost too much fluid. .
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Watch For Diaper Rash
Lots of wet poops can irritate your little ones skin. Change her diaper frequently, clean her bottom with plain water instead of baby wipes and try to let her backside air-dry when possible before putting a fresh diaper on.
You can slather on diaper cream when you notice redness, or start using it preventively. And wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after each time you change her diaper.
What Are The Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Babies
Diarrhea is a symptom in itself but you can differentiate it from a normal stool through these attributes:
Watery stools are a sure-shot indicator of diarrhea, and maybe accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal cramps, fever, etc., depending on the underlying cause of diarrhea. These symptoms indicate that you must take your baby to a doctor.
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Diarrhea How Bad Is It In Children
Diarrhea is the frequent passing of loose, watery stools, usually three to four times a day. Diarrhea is a symptom that can indicate the presence of a gastrointestinal infection or disease. It is one of the ways in which the body expels germs, infection, and unwanted or excess mucus from the body.
Diarrhea is more common in children than in adults, as the former are more vulnerable to germs owing to their developing immune system. Diarrhea can be acute or severe, where acute diarrhea lasts for no more than a week . Severe or prolonged diarrhea lasts longer and could indicate an underlying illness.
Whats worse is that diarrhea can lead to dehydration, leaving the child weak. And severe dehydration may require hospitalization!
So what you must really know is what causes diarrhea in children and how you can stop it.
Offer Liquids With Electrolytes
Over-the-counter pediatric electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte are a better choice than plain water if you suspect that your little one is becoming dehydrated, since they deliver important minerals like sodium and potassium.
Give the solution to your child as is dont mix it with formula or juice and toss unused liquid within 48 hours of opening. And steer clear of sports drinks: Theyre high in sugar, which could make the diarrhea worse.
Try to encourage your toddler to drink a few ounces every 15 to 30 minutes if she can hold it down. Babies need less around 2 tablespoons every 30 to 60 minutes. If youre unsure about dosing, call the pediatrician.
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When To Call The Doctor
Also call if your child has signs of being dehydrated, including:
- Dry and sticky mouth
Know the signs that your baby is not getting better, including:
- Fever and diarrhea that last for more than 2 to 3 days
- More than 8 stools in 8 hours
- Vomiting continues for more than 24 hours
- Diarrhea contains blood, mucus, or pus
- Your baby is much less active than normal
- Seems to have stomach pain
Dehydration: How To Know
- Dehydration means that the body has lost too much fluid. This can happen with vomiting and/or diarrhea. A weight loss of more than 3% is needed. Mild diarrhea or mild vomiting does not cause this. Neither does a small decrease in fluid intake.
- Dehydration is the most important complication of diarrhea. Dehydration is a reason to see your doctor right away.
- These are signs of dehydration:
- Dry tongue and inside of the mouth. Dry lips are not helpful.
- Dry eyes with decreased or absent tears
- In babies, a depressed or sunken soft spot
- Slow blood refill test: Longer than 2 seconds. First, press on the thumbnail and make it pale. Then let go. Count the seconds it takes for the nail to turn pink again. Ask your doctor to teach you how to do this test.
- Fussy, tired out or acting ill. If your child is alert, happy and playful, he or she is not dehydrated.
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- you’re worried about a baby under 12 months
- your child stops breast or bottle feeding while they’re ill
- a child under 5 years has signs of dehydration such as fewer wet nappies
- you or your child still have signs of dehydration after using oral rehydration sachets
- you or your child keep being sick and cannot keep fluid down
- you or your child have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the bottom
- you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Check with the GP surgery before going in. A GP may speak to you on the phone.
How Is Diarrhea Treated
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Dehydration is the major concern with diarrhea. In most cases, treatment includes replacing lost fluids. Antibiotics may be prescribed when bacterial infections are the cause.
Children should drink lots of fluids. This helps replace the lost body fluids. If your child is dehydrated, be sure to:
Offer drinks called glucose-electrolyte solutions. These fluids have the right balance of water, sugar, and salts. Some are available as popsicles.
Avoid juice or soda. They may make diarrhea worse.
Not give plain water to your baby
Not give too much plain water to kids of any age. It can be dangerous.
Keep breastfeeding your baby. Breastfed babies often have less diarrhea.
Keep feeding your baby formula, if you were already doing so
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Causes Of Recurrent Diarrhea
- Cow’s Milk Allergy. Can cause loose, slimy stools in babies. Can be blood-streaked. Starts within the first 2 months of life. Need to avoid cow’s milk formulas.
- Lactose Intolerance. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Many people cannot absorb lactose. The gut bacteria convert the lactose to gas. The main symptoms are a lot of gas, loose stools and stomach bloating. Onset usually at age 4 or 5. This most often runs in the family .
Can Infectious Diarrhoea In Children Be Prevented
The advice given in the previous section is mainly aimed at preventing the spread of infection to other people. But, even when we are not in contact with someone with infectious diarrhoea, proper storage, preparation and cooking of food and good hygiene help to prevent us catching an infection. In particular, always wash your hands and teach children to wash theirs:
- After going to the toilet .
- Before touching food. And also, between handling raw meat and food ready to be eaten. on raw meat.)
- After gardening.
- After playing with pets .
The simple measure of washing hands regularly and properly is known to make a big difference to the chance of developing gut infections and diarrhoea.
You should also take extra measures when in countries of poor sanitation. For example, avoid water and other drinks that may not be safe and avoid food washed in unsafe water.
Breastfeeding is also protective. Breast-fed babies are much less likely to develop infectious diarrhoea compared to bottle-fed babies.
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Common Causes Of Diarrhea In Children
Viruses: Viral gastroenteritis, often referred to as the stomach flu, is caused by an infection in the intestines. Typically, a child can experience watery diarrhea, cramps and a fever.
Ninety percent of diarrhea is caused by viral infection, Dr. Pickens says. If your child has been sickened by bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli, you will likely see additional symptoms.
If a child or infant has either one of those infections, there may be other indicators, like a high fever or blood in the stool. Those types of infections cause diarrhea that can continue for several weeks, Dr. Pickens says.
Viruses that cause diarrhea can get into childrens bodies in several ways. Most commonly, they are ingested when children get germs on their hands and stick them in their mouths. Eating or drinking contaminated food or water can also spread a virus that causes diarrhea.
Another potential cause of diarrhea in infants is rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhea along with vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.
Fortunately, there is now a vaccine for rotavirus, which babies typically receive at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months old.
Since that vaccine came out, weve had a significant drop in the number of children who have needed to be hospitalized from dehydration due to diarrhea, Dr. Pickens says.
Food intolerances: Some intolerances that can contribute to diarrhea include lactose , fructose , and sucrose . Children might also experience cramps, bloating, headache and nausea.