Ways & How

How To Treat Diarrhea In Toddlers

How To Treat Diarrhea In Toddlers

Having a sick child in your arms is one of the worst experiences a parent can have. But all children go through bouts of sickness and most emerge unscathed. Some childhood aches and hurts can be considered rites of passage, like teething, chicken pox and measles. Some are inevitable parts of growing up, like ordinary fevers, colds, cough and diarrhea. When watched carefully and treated accordingly, these illnesses will usually run their course. Still, some, like diarrhea, can be dangerous because a child could get dehydrated from the rapid loss of bodily fluids. Hence, it is important to know how to treat diarrhea in toddlers in case of an emergency. Diarrhea in children can be caused by a virus, allergy or by eating something that disagrees with them. Since toddlers love to explore by putting things in their mouths, they are especially vulnerable to diarrhea. When they excrete loose, watery stool, especially when it occurs frequently, then you know youíre dealing with diarrhea. Remember that the important thing is keeping the child dehydrated.

  1. Get your child to drink more fluids, especially oral rehydration solutions.



    Often a child will refuse to take it if he doesnít like how it tastes, but make him drink as much as you can to replenish the fluids he lost. However, refrain from giving fruit juices as some are natural laxatives, some are irritating to the stomach and others, along with soda and sports drinks that must also be avoided, contain lots of sugar that draw water into the intestine and worsen the diarrhea. Stop giving milk until after the illness has run its course as the child may have difficulty processing lactose.

  2. Unless prescribed by a physician, do not give the child anti-diarrheal medicines. Diarrhea may be unpleasant and uncomfortable for the child and the parent, but the body is getting rid of undesirable elements this way. Anti-diarrheal medicine may indeed stop the symptoms, but if the diarrhea is caused by bacteria or by parasites, medicine will not kill these organisms; it will trap them inside the body and prolong the illness.

  3. Encourage your child to eat food. While the problem is ongoing, give him soft, easily-digested, non-fatty food, fruits and vegetables. This is important to keep his body nourished and healthy to fight the infection.

  4. Comfort and nurture the child. When cleaning and changing diapers, wash gently with water and liberally apply diaper cream. Avoid using soap, or at least use very diluted baby soap, as frequent application can further irritate his bottom when itís already likely to be sore and red from the loose stool. Try to keep his bottom as dry as possible.

  5. If you suspect food poisoning or if the stool has a strong, funny smell, if there is blood or if the child is vomiting or has a fever, call a health care provider. If the child grows weak, his eyes start to look sunken, or his flesh does not spring back when pressed, take the child to the hospital immediately.

In most cases, diarrhea will stop on its own once the body has gotten rid of whatever it was that caused the problem. Stomach cramps may be difficult for the child and cause much crying, but consider it a good sign that the body is doing its job of eliminating harmful elements. So long as the child is hydrated and kept comfortable as much as is possible, he will weather it out and will be none the worse for wear. The hardest thing is for the parent to go through it. But being prepared by knowing how to treat diarrhea in toddlers will ensure that parent and child will get through a bout of diarrhea with minimal upset.

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