Diarrhea in kids is usually an indication of a minor infection. While this should go away quickly, you also should not ignore it. The reason for this is that diarrhea in babies and young kids could result in dehydration and be extremely dangerous.
To determine if you should be concerned or seriously worried, you should learn why diarrhea occurs in the first place.
Common Diarrhea Causes in Kids
While you can get diarrhea regardless of your age, it is more common and worrisome in younger kids, especially babies. Generally speaking, the most common cause of diarrhea in kids is a viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, particularly the rotavirus.
The main problem is that there many different infections that young kids could get that they are not immune to yet. It is also common for young kids to develop diarrhea from drinking excessive sugary drinks, especially fruit juices, as their underdeveloped gastrointestinal system could become overwhelmed by the sugar and fluid. You can prevent this by limiting your kid’s intake of sugary drinks and give them more water. Other common triggers of diarrhea include the following:
- Side effects of taking certain medications, usually antibiotics
- Allergies or sensitivities to particular foods, most usually dairy
- Too much sugary foods and candies
- Other health conditions or illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease
Warning Signs of Diarrhea in Kids
The most common symptoms of diarrhea are runny, watery, and loose stools. Your kid might feel the urge to poop several times a day and feel abdominal cramps or pain. If your kid’s diarrhea is due to an infection, your kid might also have vomiting or nausea, signs of dehydration, fever, and no urge to drink or eat anything.
Dehydration is serious, but it is an especially distressing situation for infants, babies, and young kids. Infants especially could quickly become severely dehydrated, so you need to pay attention to the following signs and head to your local family clinic in Salem and prevent them from being further dehydrated:
- Being extremely thirsty
- Producing less urine than normal, or not at all
- Having dry skin and mouth
- Crying without actual tears
How to Treat Diarrhea in Young Kids
Your main goal is to keep your kid from getting dehydrated, so you need to give them plenty of fluids, especially after every bowel movement.
You do not need to give your kid any medicine for diarrhea, except if your kid’s diarrhea is due to an infection. They might feel better in a day or two, but you should be on the lookout for specific signs that warrant a visit to the doctor. These signs include blood on your child’s stools, fever, and if your kid is displaying signs of dehydration.
Diarrhea even in kids is not always serious; just make sure to give them lots of water, plain food items, and sufficient rest. Also, remember to watch out for warning signs of dehydration and keep in touch with their pediatrician if you want that extra dose of reassurance.