Understanding Diarrhea Among Children

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Diarrhea is a condition characterized by loose and watery bowel movements. People of any age can experience diarrhea, and it isn’t the most uncommon experience. If your child experiences diarrhea, however, you may have to pay special attention to their symptoms because they may not be able to fully explain what they’re feeling.

When experiencing diarrhea, your child may need to use the restroom more often. While you shouldn’t be surprised by side effects lingering one or two days before going away on its own, diarrhea that persists beyond this time period indicates a more severe issue that may require professional attention. 

There are two types of diarrhea: acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) (chronic). The former usually persists for 1 or 2 days before resolving on its own and is typically due to bacteria-contaminated food or drink. It may also happen if your kid becomes ill as a result of a virus. 

Diarrhea that lasts for weeks on end is not a simple bacterial infection. It usually indicates another health issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome or a digestive disorder. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease are all examples of this. Giardia may also cause chronic diarrhea.

Common Causes of Diarrhea

Diarrhea in children may be caused by various factors, including viral and bacterial infections, difficulty digesting specific foods, food allergies, drug reactions, or parasites that enter the body via food or drink. The condition may also be caused by a problem with how the stomach and intestines operate (functional bowel disease), such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Children who go to certain foreign countries are at risk of contracting traveler’s diarrhea. That is caused by consuming tainted food or drink due to bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Severe diarrhea may indicate that a kid has a severe illness. If your child’s symptoms persist, consult with their doctor. Also, consult with your child’s medical provider if symptoms prevent them from doing everyday tasks. It may be challenging to determine what is causing your child’s diarrhea.

What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?

The symptoms of diarrhea may differ from person to person. They often include the following:

  • Cramping 
  • Abdominal (belly) discomfort 
  • enlargement (bloating) 
  • Stomach ache (nausea) 
  • Urgent need to use the restroom
  • Fever 
  • Bloody stool
  • Dehydration
  • Incontinence

Diarrhea symptoms may mimic those of other health issues. Severe diarrhea may indicate the presence of a severe illness and is a reason to make an appointment at the closest urgent care center.

Treatment For Diarrhea

Diarrhea treatment will be determined by your child’s symptoms, age, and overall health as well as the severity of the disease. The main issue with diarrhea is dehydration, and encouraging your child to drink is of utmost importance. When bacterial infections are the culprit, antibiotics may be prescribed as well. 

If your child is dehydrated, have them drink glucose-electrolyte solutions. These fluids have the proper proportions of water, sugar, and salts. Avoid drinking juice or soda. They may aggravate diarrhea. That said, infants should not have water, glucose-electrolyte solutions, or sodas. They can continue to be nursed as usual. If your child is bottle- or formula-fed, consult your pediatrician.

Common Complications

Dehydration is the most severe consequence of diarrhea. That is especially common in young children and individuals who have a compromised immune system. Mild, moderate, or severe dehydration may occur. Dehydration, whether mild or severe, puts strain on the heart and lungs. In the worst-case scenario, it may result in a life-threatening shock.

Conclusion

If your kid is keeping hydrated, see a doctor if diarrhea does not improve in two or three days. That is just to ensure that no further assessments are required.

Are you worried that you might endanger your child when seeking diarrhea treatments at nearby clinics? Worry no more as we offer telemedicine in Orlando, Fl! Your Kid’s Urgent Care will always give you the best consultation, even on holidays! Download your Anytime Pediatrics app now!

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