Diarrhea in children: From causes to symptoms, all that parents need to know

Published on Sep 25, 2022 04:45 PM IST

Frequent diarrhea in children can be worrisome for parents. From causes to symptoms, here is all that parents need to know to prevent diarrhea in kids.

Diarrhea in Children: From causes to symptoms, all that parents need to know(istockphoto)
Diarrhea in Children: From causes to symptoms, all that parents need to know(istockphoto)

Parents often get very concerned when a child gets sick. Diarrhea is a very common problem in children younger than age five. When children suddenly get loose, watery and frequent bowel movements, they have diarrhea. Most kids have diarrhea from time to time. It usually doesn't last long and often gets better on its own. Diarrhea is the body's way of ridding itself of germs, and most episodes last a few days to a week. Diarrhea can occur with fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, dehydration, and even rashes. As a parent, it is important for you to keep patience and instead of getting panicky support your child in the best possible way for a speedy recovery.

(Also read: Dehydration in children: Causes, symptoms, treatment, managing tips for parents )

Pediatricians, Dr. Sami and Dr. Ana, shared everything about preventing diarrhea in kids on their Instagram.

Diarrhea is common in younger kids. Most cases of diarrhoea are caused by viruses. But it can also be caused by:


  • Parasites
  • Changes in diet, like drinking too much fruit juice
  • Gastrointestinal problems, like food allergies
  • Some medications

Things you can do to reduce your kids’ risk of diarrhea:

  • Feeding your little one with breast milk - can offer protection against many infections in the form of passive antibodies.
  • Improved hand hygiene - frequent hand washing with soap or the use of hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid giving your children raw (or unpasteurized) milk products or foods that may be contaminated or spoiled from being left out too long.
  • Avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics - which disrupts healthy gut bacteria.
  • Limiting the amount of juice and sweetened drinks.
  • Ensuring your kids got the rotavirus vaccine - it protects against the most common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in young kids.

Kids with diarrhea often also have a fever and may vomit. The most important part of treating diarrhea involves preventing dehydration.

  • Continue nursing your baby as usual.
  • For older children, give plenty of fluids (water, broth, or soup) for mild diarrhea. For moderate to severe diarrhea, replenish their electrolytes with Pedialyte.
  • Most bouts of diarrhea resolve on their own after a couple of days, but if your child does not seem to be improving, contact your pediatrician.

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