Diarrhea is a frequent, watery bowel movement that most frequently is caused by a viral infection but occasionally is caused by a bacteria or certain foods.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
- Soft and watery stools
- More bowel movements per day than usual
If your child seems to have a mild illness and is not taking in as much by mouth, try increasing fluid intake by offering small amounts more often.
- For children under one year of age, give 1-2 ounces of formula, breast milk, or rehydration therapy (e.g. Pedialyte, Rehydrate, Infalyte) every 30 minutes to an hour.
- Do not give children under 2 large amounts of water.
If your child is on solid foods:
- If the child is not vomiting, it is fine to continue his usual diet of solid foods.
Leave the diaper off as long as possible to keep the buttocks dry and to avoid diaper rash.
Do NOT give your child any anti-diarrhea medication.
Use acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, or Panadol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for fever, pain, and discomfort. Avoid ibuprofen if your child is dehydrated or unable to take anything by mouth.
Warning signs – Call our office for advice if:
Your child becomes letharghic (limp and unresponsive).
You notice red blood in your child’s diarrhea.
Your child has black, tarry stools.
Your child refuses to drink.
Your child has any signs of dehydration such as no tears while crying, dry lips and mouth, fewer wet diapers (around 6 per day is normal), or sunken eyes.
Your child continues to have diarrhea after 3 days.
You have any questions or concerns, or if you have any doubts about the severity of your child’s symptoms.
**If your child develops a fever, please refer to the fever page.
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