What is the true definition of diarrhea? Well, it is an increase in frequency of very soft or watery stools. Diarrhea is the body’s natural way of removing germs. Some common causes of diarrhea are infections such as bacteria, parasites or rotavirus. Medications can also be the cause, along with food poisoning, food allergies, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. Most episodes of diarrhea last from a couple days up to a week. In addition to being uncomfortable, the main concern with diarrhea is dehydration. Most children will be able to continue their regular diet. However, smaller meals given more frequently may be better tolerated by some infants and children while the diarrhea is ongoing.
Important to your kids health is electrolytes, these can be lost from dehydration. There are electrolyte replacement solutions available for infants (Infanlyte) and older children (Pedialyte or G2). These drinks will help replace the electrolytes that can be lost with mild to moderate diarrhea. During this period, it is imperative to practice good hand washing to prevent the spread of diarrheal disease.
*DO NOT USE OVER-THE –COUNTER ANTI-DIARRHEAL MEDICATIONS AT ANY TIME, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN.
You should be seen immediately if any of the following occurs:
- Urination occurs less than once every 8 hours
- Child cries without tear production
- High fever
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Lethargic/ irritable
*If you see blood in your child’s stool, please call our office for further evaluation.
****The information provided here is intended only as a supplement to the advice and information provided by our physicians and nurses during direct patient interactions at Health Care for Children. This information should never take the place of an actual physical examination. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your kids health concerns with our nursing staff directly.****
If your child is suffering mild to moderate diarrhea, our Northland-based practice can help him or her receive the necessary treatment. Visit Healthy Children.org to find out more information.
Call (816) 792-1170 for details or to schedule an appointment.
Proudly serving the KC Northland and Liberty communities.