DiarrheaHow many bowel movements does it take to be considred diarrhea?
Your child has diarrhea when he has had two or three liquidy stools in a 24-hour period. The color and odor of the stool may be different from "normal". Other symptoms of diarrhea are increased frequency and volume in the stool, redness and irritation around the rectum and mucus in the stool. Weight loss can occur when diarrhea continues for several days or longer. If your child experiences diarrhea for a few days or longer, you need to be concerned about dehydration. Many doctors consider diarrhea that lasts for 2-3 weeks to be chronic and when it lasts for 6 weeks or more, it is called intractable. Diarrhea can occur in any season of the year, but it is more common in the summer months when more fruit is consumed and foods spoil more quickly. Rotavirus, a serious gastrointestinal infection, is more common in the winter months.
There are many causes of diarrhea. Microscopic organisms (viruses, bactreria and parasites) picked up from contaminated food or other people are large causes of diarrhea. Excessive amounts of "laxative" type foods, such as apples, pears, prunes, dried fruits and fruit juices are also to blame. An intolerance to milk can cause diarrhea also. Other causes of diarrhea are teething, an infection in the body and a course of antibiotics. Intractable diarrhea may be caused by an overactive thyroid, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and enzyme deficiencies that digest sugars.
Diarrhea that is caused by microorganisms can be spread from person to person from the feces of the infected person. Make sure that your child washes his hands well after using the restroom or after his diaper is changed to prevent spreading the infection. Contaminated foods can also transmit the bacteria. Diarrhea can last from a few hours or days and indefinitely if is found to be a intractable case.
Treatment for diarrhea varies with the cause and the most common treatment (as long as there is no underlying medical condition) is dietary changes. Antibiotics might be prescribed for bacterial or parasitic infections, but medication is not usually given for acute diarrhea. You should call your child's doctor to see if any medication is recommended to cease the diarrhea. Increase your child's fluid intake and offer commercial electrolyte solutions, such as Pedialyte. If your child vomits the solution, continue to give it to her in mild sips or in a frozen popsicle form. Do not give your child sugar-sweetened drinks, athletic drinks, glucose water, milk or undiluted juices. If the diarrhea is mild, a normal diet according to your child's appetite is okay. Give your child easy-to-digest, low-fat, low-sugar carbohydrates, such as bananas, rice, pastas, potatoes, cereal and toast. If your child is nursing, continue to breastfeed her.
Call your doctor immediately if your child shows signs of dehydration or if your child's diarrhea is severe. Call your child's doctor immediately if fever or vomiting lasts longer than 24 hours, your child refuses fluids, stools are bloody or the vomitted material is greenish, bloody or looks like coffee grounds. If there is sever abdominal pain or the abdomen is bloated or seollen call your doctor. Also call your child's doctor if there is a rash or your child looks jaundiced (yellow tint to skin and eyes).
Comments 1 to 4 of about 4.
1041 days ago.
mcmommy- my son has chronic digestive issues, so I've been in your shoes several times in the past 2 1/2 years! We went on the 'BRAT' diet Bananas, Rice, Apples, Toast. I fed him only those foods (mostly anyway) during those times & it helped a lot! Best of luck the little one feels better son! mcmommyof3
1041 days ago.
my 2 year old has had diarrhea for 5 days. It's been ranging from watery with chunks to yogurt consistency and light colored. called the pediatrician and they said as long as he's wetting 3 diapers per day (which he is) not to worry. Has anyone dealt with this before? I'm sure it's a virus because his daddy and I both got a (milder) case of it too. newborn305
1378 days ago.
yea my son is 5 days old since last night till today his been having yellow mustard liquidy stool.. Amy208
1488 days ago.
We are now on day 2 of diarrhea. My daughter is 6 weeks old and have been changeing her almost every hour with a poopy bottom. My question is, is it ok to give her pedialyte at this young of an age? Any help would be great. Oh and she does NOT have a fever just diarrhea. Thank you