When Should You Take Your Child To The Doctor For Diarrhea
A single bout or two of diarrhea probably isnt cause for concern so when is it time to worry?
Since fluid loss is the main concern with loose stools, you should call the pediatrician if you notice your baby is showing signs of dehydration or you see dehydration symptoms in your toddler, including the following:
- Fewer than four wet diapers in 24 hours in babies, or peeing less often in toddlers
- Urine that looks darker or more concentrated than usual
- Dry or cracked lips or dry mouth
- Tearless crying
- In babies, sunken eyes
- In babies, skin that seems dry or slack, or in toddlers, skin that seems flushed
- Listlessness or being less active than usual
- In babies, a sunken soft spot on the top of the head
There are also other instances that warrant a call to the doctor, even if your child doesnt seem dehydrated. Check in with the pediatrician if the diarrhea is accompanied by a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, if the stools are black or bloody or if your little one seems crankier or more irritable than usual.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Repeat Attacks Of Stomach Pain
Some children suffer repeat attacks of stomach pain, which can be worrying for parents. Often, no health problem can be found.Children may feel stomach pain when they are worried about themselves or people around them. Think about whether there is anything that is upsetting your child at home, school or kindergarten, or with friends. See your local doctor for advice. A referral may be needed to a paediatrician .
Stomach aches are common in children. Whether its from indigestion, constipation, or even a viral infection, most stomach aches in kids are not serious and symptoms will usually resolve on their own.
You can try soothing your childs stomach ache with one of these home remedies:
Treating Symptoms In Infants
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How Do Doctors Find The Cause Of Diarrhea
- ask about what the child ate most recently, when symptoms began, and how often and how long the diarrhea is happening
- ask specific questions about the diarrhea: Is it watery? Is there blood in the poop?
- do an exam
- order a stool test, urine test, or blood test to check for dehydration and to see whats causing the diarrhea, if needed
Should I Give My Child Ors
If your child is younger than two years and you are worried that he or she is dehydrated, ask your doctor about using ORS. ORS comes as a powder that you mix with water, or a liquid that is already mixed and as frozen popsicles.
Brands of ORS include Pedialyte, Rice-Lyte, Rehydralyte and the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution . Ask your doctor about which one to use.
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The Best Foods For Diarrhea
The best foods for helping your child overcome diarrhea are those that are easy to digest, keep your child eating, and offer nutrition. Foods containing a bit of extra salt can help replenish the electrolytes sodium and chloride lost in stool.
- Salty fluids . Broths, sports drinks, and oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte.
- Low fiber foods. Rice, noodles or pasta, cream of wheat, small amounts of peanut butter, white bread, cottage cheese, canned fruits in their natural juices, cooked vegetables like carrots or green beans, pretzels, crackers, and baked or broiled lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or lean beef.
- Other foods. Banana, applesauce, pancakes, waffles, cornbread, popsicles, and low fat dairy products .
The Worst Foods To Give Toddlers With Diarrhea
Unlike the current guidelines that are pretty vague on foods to help kids with diarrhea, some foods should be avoided or eliminated during episodes of diarrhea.
Here are the worst foods to give a toddler with diarrhea:
- fruit juices like apple juice and sports drinks can loosen stools
- anything with sorbitol or fructose
- if dairy products seem to make diarrhea worse, you may need to eliminate it from your childs diet for a few days.
- caffeine and carbonated drinks
- fried foods, greasy foods, processed foods, and fast foods
- Prunes or other foods that are known to worsen diarrhea
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What To Feed Toddler With Diarrhea Recommended And Avoid Foods
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- What to Feed Toddler with Diarrhea? Recommended and Avoid Foods
Dealing with toddlers is no doubt fun. However, there comes a time when theyâre not feeling well. It might either be due to fever, colds, or diarrhea. Diarrhea is arguably the most common sickness that toddlers go through, and I can attest to that.
My two years old child has experienced this number of times already. And I must admit that it’s heartbreaking to see your child experience that. Not only are they feeling discomfort in their body, but we also suffer because we always need to keep cleaning up their loose stools and worrying about what we should do to them.
Here weâre going to tell you what you need feed to your toddler when they get diarrhea, as well as how to prevent them from getting diarrhea in the first place.
Children And Diarrhea: Recognizing Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most worrisome complications of diarrhea in children. Mild diarrhea usually doesn’t 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
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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.
Medicine For Your Childs Vomiting
In the majority of cases, your child wont require medical intervention to stop vomiting. Most instances of throwing up will go away on their own. However, sometimes, if vomiting is severe or goes on for a lengthy stretch, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Zofran is an anti-nausea drug often given to chemotherapy patients and sometimes prescribed for severe vomiting and diarrhea in children. Though its likely to be given to your child in extreme circumstances only, such as in the emergency room or while hospitalized, its possible your pediatrician may prescribe it for at-home use.
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What Is The Treatment
Your childs doctor will talk with you about specific care for your child. Some general guidelines to follow include:
Extra fluids Offer your child extra fluids with each loose or liquid stool. Diarrhea can make children very thirsty.
- Give babies less than 8 months old Pedialyte it is important to remember that babies do not have the same reserve as older children so they should be evaluated for diarrhea within 48 hours of beginning of symptoms children less than 8 months of age should not be given extra fluids without talking to the doctor first.
- Give babies over 8 months old half-strength Gatorade to drink if they will not take the Pedialyte or
- Give your child sports drinks, Popsicles, water and soft drinks only if he is taking solid foods
- Do not give diet drinks or fruit juices
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How Norovirus Is Spread
Norovirus can spread very easily.
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
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Recommended Fluids For Vomiting And Diarrhea
Parents often give water or juice to their kids when they have diarrhea or vomiting, and you can also use an oral rehydration solution .
Oral rehydration solutions have a good mix of sugar and electrolytes. The high amount of sugar and lack of sodium in fluids like apple juice might actually make your child worse. Similarly, Gatorade’s high sugar content makes it controversial when used for diarrhea or vomiting.
The World Health Organization Oral Rehydration Solution is the gold standard for managing acute gastroenteritis, and many parents and pediatricians use commercially available solutions such as Enfalyte or Pedialyte.
They are available in most supermarkets and drug stores without a prescription and come in good-tasting flavors. Your child might prefer some flavors over others.
How Do I Know If My Child Has Toddlers Diarrhea
Make an appointment to see your pediatrician if your child has frequent loose stools lasting more than a couple of weeks. Before the appointment, consider keeping a written log of your childs stool patterns for at least one week. Each day, write down the frequency and consistency of your childs bowel movements as well as a diary of the types of foods and drinks he or she consumes. This will help your doctor make the diagnosis of toddlers diarrhea or decide if further evaluation is needed to look for other causes of diarrhea. Remember, if the diagnosis of toddlers diarrhea is made after consulting with your pediatrician, this is not considered a disease, but rather a harmless condition of childhood. The vast majority of children outgrow toddlers diarrhea with time and/or by following dietary interventions.
If a child has blood in the stool, vomiting, poor weight gain or weight loss, abdominal pain, refusal to eat/drink, or fever, call your doctor to discuss being seen sooner. These red flag symptoms indicate that something more serious than toddlers diarrhea is going on and further evaluation and/or treatment may be needed.
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What Should I Doabout My Baby Or Toddlers Diarrhea
Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids
A first line of home remedies for diarrhea in toddlers and babies is additional fluids.7
Under 12 months: Provide breastmilk and/or formula
Over 12 months: Provide breastmilk, cowâs milk / milk alternative, and water.2,3
If your little one seems to get bloated or gassy after drinking cowâs milk, ask their healthcare provider if it should be avoided.3
Read more: Dairy Sensitivity in Babies and Toddlers
Should your child has worsening diarrhea and/or is showing little interest in her usual drinks, try these alternatives while also checking in with her healthcare provider:
- Smoothies â try blending banana, coconut water, and ice or just melon and water
- Whole fruit-based popsicles â like smoothies, popsicles are another means for delivering fluids to a child resistant to drinking
if your child is suffering from prolonged or more severe diarrhea, their healthcare provider might recommend a rehydration / electrolyte drink. Be sure to only use commercial prepared pediatric rehydration drinks.3
Fluids to Avoid: Unlike pediatric electrolyte drinks Jell-o, soda / soft drinks, juice, and sports drinks often do not have the correct mixture of sugar, salt, and fluids, and may make your little one more sick. 3, 4
If juice is the only fluid your child will drink, try diluting it: 1 ounce of juice to 4 ounces of water.
Emphasize healthy foods
Focus on the following foods:
Restrict the following foods:
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The Worst Foods For Diarrhea
Some foods tend to make diarrhea worse:
- High sugar foods. Soda, juice, lemonade, and other similar drinks should be put on the backburner when a child has diarrhea. They may make diarrhea worse or extend its duration.
- Fatty foods. Chips, French fries, and pastries should be avoided until diarrhea has resolved. Watch out for fatty meats such as salami, bacon, and sausage.
- High fiber foods. Broccoli, corn, and peas are high fiber vegetables and can worsen diarrhea.
- Caffeine. Caffeine has a laxative effect and may make diarrhea worse. So nix coffee, tea, chocolate, and other caffeine-containing foods.
- Dried fruit. Dates, raisins, and prunes are all high sugar items and may exacerbate your childs diarrhea.
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Best Food For Toddler With Upset Stomach
Sharing is caring!
Ughthe dreaded GI bug! And theres few things in life more miserable than a child with vomiting, diarrhea, or a stomach ache. Its hard to watch our little ones suffer, especially through stomach pain and tummy troubles.
Luckily, there are some foods for toddlers with an upset stomach that an help them recover and get back to their spunky, energetic selves.
This article is not intended to replace medical advice and you should seek medical attention if you are concerned for your childs health. Always contact your health care provider with questions or concerns regarding your childs health. Please read my full medical disclosure here. This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if a purchase is made using the links from this page.
Fluids To Treat Dehydration
If your child is mildly dehydrated, this may be treated by giving them rehydration drinks. Read the instructions carefully for advice about how to make up the drinks and about how much to give. The amount can depend on the age and the weight of your child. If rehydration drinks are not available for whatever reason, make sure you keep giving your child water, diluted fruit juice or some other suitable liquid. If you are breastfeeding, you should continue with this during this time. It is important that your child is rehydrated before they have any solid food.
Sometimes a child may need to be admitted to hospital for treatment if they are dehydrated. Treatment in hospital usually involves giving rehydration solution via a special tube called a nasogastric tube. This tube passes through your childs nose, down their throat and directly into their stomach. An alternative treatment is with fluids given directly into a vein .
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What Counts As Diarrhea
Most children have a couple of episodes of mild diarrhea a year. The stools can be more watery, more frequent, or both. Since most healthy young children have periods when they have 3-4 stools a day, we usually don’t worry unless a child has more than 6 loose stools in a day: it’s nearly impossible to have serious consequences like dehydration if the child is having 4-5 loose stools a day, but is otherwise well. In fact, there are some stages in your child’s life when he or she should have this kind of stools. Young infants especially have variety in their stools, depending on whether they are breast or formula fed. But this is very normal.
What Can I Give My Child To Stop Diarrhea
Usually, medicine is not necessary to treat diarrhea in kids. In most cases, acute infectious diarrhea will stop when the body clears out the infection.
“Diarrhea is like a cough when you have a cold. Your gut is trying to get the bad stuff out, explains Dr. Lazar. “If you slow down the gut with an anti-diarrheal medicine during infectious diarrhea, you’re keeping the infection inside.
If your child’s diarrhea lasts more than a few days, check with your pediatrician to determine the cause and best treatment. For chronic diarrhea, your doctor might suggest a change of diet, medication or other ongoing treatment.
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Broiled Pork Beef Or Chicken
When your toddler shows signs of diarrhea, you don’t wait but need to act quickly. The best thing you can do is to feed them with foods that will combat the effects of diarrhea such as boiled pork, beef, or chicken.
These meats contain large amounts of calories and protein, which are very effective in hardening up the contents of your toddlerâs digestive tract. This will result to a more solidified stool the next time they poop.