How does Diarrhea manifest in children?

Children can have acute-short-term or chronic-long-term form of diarrhea. Causes include bacteria, viruses, parasites, medications, functional disorders and food sensitivities. Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of acute diarrhea in childhood. Rotavirus diarrhea usually resolves within 5 to 8 days.

Medicines to treat diarrhea in adults can be dangerous for children and should only be given under the guidance of a doctor.

Diarrhea can be dangerous in newborns and infants. In young children, severe diarrhea that lasts only a day or two can lead to dehydration. Because a child can die of dehydration within a few days, the main treatment for diarrhea in children is rehydration.

For these reasons, take your child to the doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Stools containing blood or pus or black stools
  • Temperature above 38.5 degrees Celsius
  • Diarrhea that shows no improvement after 24 hours
  • Signs of dehydration