How to Treat Diarrhea in Children

diarrhea in children

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Diarrhea is the body’s way of purging itself of pathogens, and most cases last a few days to a week. Diarrhea causes feces that are loose and runny. It occurs frequently and rarely causes any major problems.

Diarrhea in Children

In young children, diarrhea is a common sign of illness. It is the condition where one has frequent, watery bowel movements (stools). If your child has had a sudden case of diarrhea, he or she may also have to use the restroom more frequently than usual.

The occurrence of diarrhea is quite frequent. It could persist for 1-2 days and then go away on its own. Diarrhea that persists for more than 2 days could be a sign of a more serious condition in your child. Fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, dehydration, and rashes are all symptoms that may accompany diarrhea.

Diarrhea may be either:

  1. Short-term (acute): Short-term (2-day) diarrhea that clears up quickly. Possibly bacterial contamination of food or water is to blame. Alternatively, if your kid catches a bug, they could become ill.
  2. Long-term (chronic). A post-diarrheal episode is defined as diarrhea that persists for more than a week. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease are all bowel disorders that can bring on these symptoms. Additionally, Giardia can trigger persistent diarrhea.

Causes of Diarrhea

Diarrhea may be caused by many things, including:

  • A bacterial infection
  • Virus infection
  • Difficulty in absorbing some foods
  • An adverse reaction to specific foods caused by the immune system
  • ingestible parasites
  • Irritable bowel syndrome or another intestinal illness
  • Functional bowel disorder (IBS, constipation, etc.) is a condition in which there is dysfunction in the digestive and elimination systems.
  • Abdominal or biliary surgery

Other causes include:

  • Addiction to Alcohol
  • An intolerance to particular foods
  • Intestinal diseases (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) Diabetes
  • Foods that cause gastrointestinal distress
  • Bacterial infection (responsible for most cases of food poisoning) and other infections
  • Drug-induced constipation
  • Medications
  • Issues with the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Radiation treatment
  • Traveler’s diarrhea is brought on by consuming contaminated food or water, which can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

A child with severe diarrhea may be suffering from an illness. If your kid continues to feel sick or if their symptoms do not improve, it is important to have a conversation with their doctor. 

Symptoms include in Diarrhea

Diarrhea’s symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. There are some diseases that can cause severe diarrhea. If you suspect something is wrong with your kid, it is important to get a proper diagnosis by a doctor. Typical manifestations include;

  • Nausea: is a feeling of unease in the stomach that frequently precedes vomiting. The term “throwing up” refers to the act of expelling fecal matter through the mouth, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
  • Cramps: A charley horse occurs when a muscle spasms and contracts involuntarily. You might experience cramps all over your body. Your legs probably have a lot of them.
  • Dehydration:takes place when a person does not drink enough water and their body starts to suffer. Insufficiency disrupts normal bodily processes. Depending on how much water your body is lacking, dehydration can range from mild to severe.

 Other symptoms include

  •  Abdominal (belly) discomfort
  • Swelling (bloating) (bloating)
  • Really have to go now
  • Fever
  • Bodily waste that is red in color
  • Incontinence

How Diarrhea can be diagnosed

The doctor will inquire about your current and past medical conditions, medications, diet, and fluid intake. They will conduct a full body check to check for issues like dehydration and abdominal pain.

The source of your diarrhea can be determined by performing certain tests, such as:

  • Diagnostic blood tests for illness or dysfunction
  • Rarely, a doctor may perform a procedure called a colonoscopy, in which he or she uses a thin, flexible tube equipped with a tiny camera and light to examine the patient’s colon. They can also use it to collect a tiny tissue sample. Alternatively, your doctor may decide that a sigmoidoscopy (which examines only the lower colon) is sufficient.
  • Diagnostic procedures involving the examination of feces for the presence of bacteria or parasites

What’s the best way to treat diarrhea?

  • Mild diarrhea without vomiting.In most cases, electrolyte solutions are unnecessary and parents can continue feeding their children the same way as usual if their child has minor diarrhoea. Diarrhea typically clears up without treatment after two days. Ask your child’s doctor if formula or cow’s milk should be avoided if he or she has bloating or gas after consuming it.
  • Mild diarrhea with vomiting.When a youngster has diarrhoea, the doctor may temporarily take cow’s milk out of the diet if the child cannot tolerate it. Small, frequent doses of polymer electrolytes should be given until vomiting ceases. Typically, a 1- or 2-day supply is sufficient.
  • Severe diarrhea.For children who are showing signs of dehydration and have loose, watery stools every 1–2 hours, it may be best to have them stop eating. They should stay away from sugary, salty, or very salty drinks.

How can I reduce my child's risk of diarrhea?

The majority of cases of diarrhoea in children are caused by viruses. In addition to viruses and parasites, dietary changes (such as drinking too much fruit juice), gastrointestinal issues (like food allergies), and certain medications can all lead to diarrhoea. These measures can be taken to lessen the likelihood of diarrhoea:

  • Prevent the transmission of disease. Rinse hands often with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser. If possible, keep your kiddo away from other kids who might be contagious.
  • Raw (unpasteurized) milk and other potentially infected foods should never be given to a child.
  • Whenever possible, antibiotics should be avoided.
  • For the first six months of a baby’s life, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Keep breastfeeding for a minimum of 12 months after introducing solids. If you and your child both choose to continue breastfeeding after the first year, you certainly can.
  • Cut back on soda and other sugary beverages.
  • It is imperative that you vaccinate your child against rotavirus. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in newborns and young children can be prevented with the rotavirus vaccine.

Natural way to treat Diarrhea

Within 24 hours of feeling better, kids should go back to eating a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, meat, yogurt, and complex carbs are all part of a well-balanced diet.

How Can I Prevent Diarrhea?

The best way to keep diarrhea at bay is to keep your distance from those who may be carrying the infectious agent that causes it.

Further, the following safety measures should be taken if you are traveling to a developing nation:

  • When brushing your teeth, use only bottled water.
  • Keep away from the food sold by street vendors.
  • Use only filtered water or bottled water in place of tap water and ice.
  • Only eat cooked or peelable fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure everything you eat is cooked all the way through and served piping hot.
  • Generally speaking, it is safe to eat food that has already been packaged.
  • Always cook your meat and seafood thoroughly before eating it.
  • If necessary for your destination, get vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid before you leave.


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