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Diarrhea in Children

Diarrhea occurs when the body tries to get rid of germs by itself. It is characterized by loose or watery stools that occur at frequent intervals. Diarrhea can be caused because of both viral and bacterial infections. Viruses like rota virus, bacteria like salmonella and parasites like giardia can cause diarrhea in children. This can last anywhere between a few days to a week depending on the situation. Diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, fever, nausea, cramps and dehydration in most cases. Given below are some of the important questions about diarrhea that have been answered by the Experts.

Is it normal for a child to have diarrhea after each bottle?

It may not be normal for a baby to have diarrhea after each bottle is given. This can be indicative of a viral illness within the child. If the baby is given cow’s milk, the parents may replace this milk with a lactose free formula for some time. This is because it may be difficult for the baby to digest lactose when he/she has a viral stomach infection. Also, formulas with lactose can cause gas and diarrhea till the virus is treated. The child will have to be taken to a pediatrician if he/she shows signs of dehydration or if there is blood in the stool.

What could be the cause of diarrhea for five days in an 11 week old baby with no signs of vomiting or fever, but however was given the Rota virus vaccine?

The diarrhea in the baby could be caused due to a viral or bacterial intestinal infection. If the child was given Rotateq as a vaccination, then the diarrhea can be caused as a side effect of this vaccination as well.

What can cause diarrhea in a 3 month old baby? What precautions should the parents take to control the condition?

Diarrhea in a 3 month old baby may be caused due to a viral infection of the intestine. Most of the time, diarrhea may be self limited. The parents should make sure that all the electrolytes that the child looses because of the diarrhea are replaced with enough fluids such as Pedialyte. In most cases, the parent should avoid giving the child fruit juices like orange, apple or grape juice as that can increase the diarrhea. The parents should also avoid any over the counter medications for treating the child. The child may have to be taken to a doctor if the parent cannot get the diarrhea under control, if there is blood in the stool or if there is vomiting, fever and difficulty taking anything orally.

What could be the cause of a 15 month old child to have diarrhea, vomiting, rash on abdomen and chest and the child is not eating well?

The most common cause of diarrhea in babies is the rota virus. This virus can also cause fever and vomiting in some children. The rash on the abdomen and chest however, may not be because of the rota virus. The parents may continue to give the baby milk if the child has very mild lactose intolerance. The child may also be given yoghurt which will handle the intolerance. The parents may also look out for symptoms like reduced urine output, cold peripheries, breathlessness, drowsiness and seizures. If any of these symptoms occur, the child should be immediately taken to the doctor for an evaluation.

Should a 10 year old child with diarrhea, gas and rumbling stomach pains be given antibiotics?

It may not be necessary to give a 10 year old child with gas, diarrhea and stomach pains antibiotics. However, the child may require a stool sample test to check if they have giardia which is an intestinal parasite. The child may also be taken to a pediatrician to check for any other possible causes of the diarrhea.

Can a 5 year old child be given Kaopectate to treat diarrhea?

Most pediatricians may not recommend giving a child Kaopectate to treat diarrhea. Instead, the child should be checked by a doctor to find out the cause of the condition. The child may also be given Pedialyte or any other sports drink till the child sees the doctor to prevent dehydration. The parents should also avoid giving the child any milk or juices.

Diarrhea is common among children and can be caused due to various reasons. It can lead to weakness and dehydration because of the electrolytes being lost in the body. It is important to make sure that the child is hydrated all the time as it can lead to serious complications otherwise. You should know what to give your child and what to avoid when they have diarrhea. The amount of information that is available online about treating and controlling diarrhea can confuse you and leave you with more questions than answers. At such times, you may speak to an Expert and get all your doubts about diarrhea control and treatment cleared.

Ask a Pediatrician

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2695
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
16481530
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Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Pediatrician
Satisfied Customers: 2507
M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
Dr. Gupta
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MD, practicing Pediatrician with 19 years of experience. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.
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Board Certified, Ivy League educated Pediatrician.

Recent Diarrhea Questions

  • We just found out that the cat that we rescued a month ago

    We just found out that the cat that we rescued a month ago has worms. For the past few days, our 6 year old has been coughing and today she had diarrhea and complained that her stomach hurts. She has been around other kids who have been sick so we thought she just caught a virus. Could she have worms? A few weeks ago she tried to scoop out the litter box. We made her wash her hands, but we didn't know that she had done it for 30 minutes or so. We don't know if she touched her mouth or not.
  • My daughter is age 7. I've had a problem getting her to eat

    My daughter is age 7. I’ve had a problem getting her to eat and she usually will only eat specific foods meaning she will eat bread but only one brand. She will eat chicken but only chicken at panda. She was diagnosed in autistic spectrum but has done well. Last night I got her to try tortellini with 3 different cheeses inside with some alfredo sauce. She liked it and eat some, maybe 5 or 6 pieces. Later that night she woke up and was crying claiming she was hungry. We walked into the kitchen and then she said she was going to throw up and started running for the bathroom but didn't make it all the way and threw-up on the carpet before getting to the sink where she vomited more. When I was cleaning it up, I notice that none of the tortellini had digested at all. it had been about 9 hours from the time she had dinner to the time she threw-up and all other foods had been broken down in the vomit except the tortellini which look like it had not changed at all. The color of the vomit was mostly red. I had wondered about a dairy issue as she has stopped drinking milk and doesn't want it in her cereal. She used to drink a lot of milk but does not anymore. Any ideas? Thanks
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    My two year old daughter is complaining of pain in her butt hole area after severe diarrhea. What should I do?
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