DIGESTIVE/LIVER DISORDERS :: Common Children's Digestive Problems
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is defined either as watery stool or increased frequency (or both) when compared to a normal amount. It is a common problem that may last a few days and disappear on its own.
Diarrhea may be:
What causes diarrhea?
Diarrhea in children may be caused by a number of conditions, including the following:
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
The following are the most common symptoms for diarrhea. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Severe diarrhea may indicate a serious disease, making it important to consult your child's physician if any/all of the following symptoms persist:
The symptoms of diarrhea may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Warning signs of severe diarrhea:
You should call your pediatrician if your child is less than 6 months of age or presents any of the following symptoms:
How is diarrhea diagnosed?
In addition to a complete physical examination and laboratory tests for blood and urine, the child's physician may request:
Treatment for diarrhea:
Specific treatment for diarrhea will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Treatment usually involves replacing lost fluids. Antibiotics may be prescribed when bacterial infections are the cause.
A child with diarrhea can have regular fluids or special fluids (such as Pedialyte™ or Gatorade™) for diarrhea. Do not use anti-diarrheal medications unless recommended by your child's physician.
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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