Diarrhea and Dehydration in Children: Proper Prevention and Treatment Matters

Diarrhea and Dehydration

Diarrhea is not uncommon in kids. The good news is it is often mild and goes away fast. Acute diarrhea typically lasts for less than a week and certainly no longer than two weeks. 

A child has diarrhea if they have bowel movements more than they usually do and if their stools are more watery or less formed. Other symptoms of diarrhea may include, loss of appetite, stomach pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, blood or mucus in the stool, and fever. 

Diarrhea needs to be managed properly or it can pose danger to the child. It’s because having frequent bowel movements drains both water and salt from the body and if they aren’t replaced fast, a child can get dehydrated and require hospitalization.

Here, your provider of reliable kids urgent care in Orlando, FL, shares information on diarrhea that you need to know:

How Diarrhea Spreads

Diarrhea can spread from person to person by touching the same objects or surfaces that a sick person touched. It can also spread by eating or drinking food or water that has been contaminated by a sick person who did not wash his hands well or at all. You can stay away from diarrhea by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after going to the bathroom.
  • Drink from a bottle with a new cap and always rinse your bottle before refilling.
  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing the baby’s diaper, and before preparing food.
  • Don’t share drinks or straws.
  • Disinfect the toilet seat, toys, and pacifiers.
  • Don’t lick your fingers, use the same utensils to eat and prepare food, and don’t use your hands to clean dirty dishes.

What Causes Diarrhea

There are many reasons for diarrhea. Some of the common causes are listed below:

  • Ingestion of food or drink contaminated by bacteria or parasites.
  • Ingestion of toxins and chemicals.
  • Use of antibiotics, antacids, and laxatives, among others.
  • Prolonged vomiting.
  • Lactose intolerance.

What to Do If Your Child Has Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be dangerous if it’s not addressed immediately and properly. In order to keep the child well and be in the best shape, it is important to know what to do when the child has it.

Don’t give your child any medicine without asking the doctor first. If you think your child needs medication, you can ask the pharmacist at the drugstore.

Give your child plenty of clear liquids. You can give her clear grape juice or vegetable juice. If these are not available, you can use boiled water.

You can use home remedies to relieve the symptoms of diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids and eat small meals to help prevent dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration

The reason diarrhea is dangerous is because it can put a child at risk of dehydration. Here are some signs you need to watch out for:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Not urinating for at least 6 hours
  • Lips and mouth are still dry after you’ve given the child a drink
  • Darker colored urine
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Not willing to drink
  • Skin loses elasticity
  • Active vomiting or diarrhea
  • Seems weak, irritable, or tired
  • Can’t stop crying or doesn’t want to be held
  • Feels hot or looks flushed
  • Takes longer than usual to eat and drink
  • Feels dizzy when they stand up

If your child shows any of the above symptoms, you should take them to the doctor right away.

Conclusion

Diarrhea is a common problem among kids and adults. While it can be scary to see your child suffering like that, you can use the advice and tips we’ve provided to help you feel more confident about handling it. If you feel that your child needs to be seen by a healthcare provider, seek urgent care for kids in Orlando, FL.

Your Kids Urgent Care offers the best kids urgent care in Orlando, FL. We offer convenient urgent care pediatric services to children any time or day. Schedule an appointment for your child today!

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