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Child’s Diarrhoea

Child’s Diarrhoea


Everything you need to know
about your Child’s Diarrhoea

What causes a child’s diarrhoea more frequently than adults? What can you do to help your child feel better? WebMD explains the causes of diarrhoea and how to manage it at home.

Common Causes and Treatments of Child’s Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the body’s natural way of getting rid of pathogens, and most episodes last anywhere from a few days to a week. Fever, nausea, vomiting, cramping, dehydration, and even rashes can accompany diarrhoea. The following are some of the most prevalent causes of diarrhoea in children:


Infection with viruses such as rotavirus, bacteria such as salmonella, and parasites such as giardia. The most prevalent cause of diarrhoea in children is viruses. Symptoms of a viral gastroenteritis illness include vomiting, stomachache, headache, and fever, in addition to loose or watery faeces.

It’s critical to avoid fluid loss when treating viral gastroenteritis, which can persist anywhere from 5 to 14 days. Infants and young children should be given extra breast milk or an oral rehydration solution (ORS). The sodium, potassium, and other nutrients in the water are insufficient to safely rehydrate extremely young children. Consult your doctor about the number of fluids your child requires, as well as how to ensure that they receive them when to administer them, and how to detect dehydration.

To stay hydrated, older children with diarrhoea can drink whatever they choose, including ORS and brand-name goods (their names usually end in “lyte”). Popsicles are also an excellent way to get fluids into a youngster who has been vomiting and needs to slowly rehydrate.

If you’ve recently travelled outside of the UK, talk to your doctor; your child may need to have their faeces examined. Consult a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.


Medications such as laxatives and antibiotics can cause diarrhoea in both children and adults.

Keep your child hydrated if he or she has mild diarrhoea induced by medicine. If your child’s diarrhoea is caused by a course of antibiotics, make sure to keep the treatment going and contact your doctor. Reduce the dose, change your diet, add a probiotic, or switch to a different antibiotic, as recommended by your doctor.

Antibiotic-induced diarrhoea can be relieved by yoghurt with live cultures or probiotics, according to studies. Antibiotics kill beneficial gut bacteria, therefore cultures and probiotics assist to replenish them.

Food Poisoning

Children can get diarrhoea from food poisoning. Symptoms usually appear suddenly, including vomiting, and disappear within 24 hours.

The treatment for diarrhoea induced by food poisoning is the same as for diarrhoea caused by infection: Keep your youngster hydrated, and if you have any questions, call your doctor.

Other causes of diarrhoea

Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, food allergies, and celiac disease are some of the other causes of diarrhoea. Call your doctor if you’re not sure what’s causing your child’s diarrhoea.


One of the most concerning consequences of diarrhoea in children is dehydration. Moderate or severe diarrhoea, on the other hand, might result in considerable fluid loss.

Severe dehydration can lead to convulsions, brain damage, and even death. Recognize the symptoms of dehydration. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Dark yellow urine, or very little or no urine
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Cool, dry skin
  • Lack of energy

When to call a doctor

Diarrhoea normally clears up after a few days, but it might be dangerous. Don’t delay to get help if your child exhibits any of these symptoms. If not call 111.

If you observe any of the following more serious symptoms in your child, regardless of age, call your doctor:

  • Seems very sick
  • Has had diarrhoea for more than three days
  • Is younger than 6 months old
  • Is vomiting bloody green or yellow fluid
  • Can’t hold down fluids or has vomited more than two times
  • Has a persistent fever or is under age 6 months with a fever over 38° C / 100.4° F (determined by a rectal thermometer)
  • Appears dehydrated
  • Has bloody stool
  • Is less than a month old with three or more episodes of diarrhoea
  • Passes more than four diarrhoea stools in eight hours and isn’t drinking enough
  • Has a weak immune system
  • Has a rash
  • Has stomach pain for more than two hours
  • Has not urinated in 6 hours if a baby or 12 hours if a child

NOTE: If your baby has a fever of over 38° C, do not give them fever medicine.