Diarrhea in children
- by Dr. Elvie Joy Atanque-Basa
Common Causes and Treatments
Some of the most common reasons that kids get diarrhea include:
● Infection from viruses like rotavirus, bacteria like salmonella, and (in rare cases) parasites like giardia. Viruses are the most common cause of diarrhea in children. Along with loose or watery stools, symptoms of a viral gastroenteritis infection often include vomiting, stomach ache, headache, and fever.
When treating viral gastroenteritis—which can last 5–14 days—it's important to prevent fluid loss. Offer additional breast milk or an oral rehydration solution (ORS) to infants and young children. Water alone doesn't have enough sodium, potassium, or other nutrients in it to safely rehydrate very young children. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the amount of fluids your child needs, how to make sure he or she gets them, when to give them, and how to watch for dehydration.
Older children with diarrhea can drink anything they like to stay hydrated—including ORS and branded products with names that usually end in "lyte". Popsicles can also be a good way to get fluids into a child who has been vomiting and needs to rehydrate slowly.
Dehydration is one of the most worrisome complications of diarrhea in children. Mild diarrhea usually doesn't cause significant fluid loss, but moderate or severe diarrhea can.
Diarrhea usually goes away within a few days, but it can lead to complications. If your child is too weak to stand up or is confused or dizzy, don't wait—get help.
Go to the nearest clinic/hospital right away if your child:
● Seems very sick
Dr. Elvie Joy Atanque-Basa
A native of the Philippines from Roxas City, Dr. Elvie has accumulated wide experience as a general practitioner and pediatrician in the decade since graduating from the University of Visayas Gullas College of Medicine in Cebu, before which she was already a licensed pharmacist. She is a dedicated, compassionate and creative specialist with an analytical approach and professional competence that will make her a fine addition to our team.
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