Diarrhea is common in young children and can have many causes, including viral and bacterial infections that are easily spread by kids. Most cases of diarrhea are not serious, but they do need to run their course.
Unfortunately, this can take up to a week, depending on the cause. The good news is that most kids will recover fine on their own and can continue eating as normal, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics 1.
Offer your child clear fluids throughout the day, to keep him hydrated despite the fluid loss from the diarrhea. Water is a good choice, but you can also try to get him to eat some broth. Avoid giving your child fruit juices such as apple juice. Although many kids like the taste of fruit juices, the sugars in fruit can make diarrhea worse, according to the MayoClinic website 4.
Allow your child to eat as much or as little as she wants. Start by offering soft, low-fiber foods, and then gradually move to harder foods with more fiber. Good choices include rice, plain crackers and chicken. Change dirty diapers as necessary.
Because of the increase in bowel movements when a child has diarrhea, the skin on the bottom might become irritated and inflamed. Wipe the diaper area thoroughly, and apply diaper rash cream as needed.
Contact your child's pediatrician if your notice blood in his stool or if his fever is greater than degrees F. Watch for signs of dehydration, which include dry diapers or no urinating for three or more hours, crying without tears, dry tongue and mouth, and skin that does not flatten when pinched, according to the National Digestive Disorders Information Clearinghouse 2.
If your child appears to be dehydrated, contact your pediatrician immediately. If your child wants to eat, try offering smaller amounts of food more frequently throughout the day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A child with mild to moderate diarrhea can still drink milk. If she gets bloated or develops abdominal pain, ask your pediatrician if you should avoid milk until the episode passes. If diarrhea persists for several days, check with your pediatrician about using electrolyte solutions to help your child stay hydrated. Do not give your 2-year-old anti-diarrhea medications unless your pediatrician has specifically instructed you to do so, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.The small intestine and colon are components of your digestive tract, which processes the foods you eat.
The intestines extract nutrients from the foods. What isn't absorbed by the intestines continues along the digestive tract and is expelled as stool during a bowel movement. Diarrhea — loose, watery and possibly more-frequent bowel movements — is a common problem. Luckily, diarrhea is usually short-lived, lasting no more than a few days. But, when diarrhea lasts for weeks, it usually indicates that's there's another problem.
If you have diarrhea for weeks or longer, you may have a condition such as irritable bowel disorder, or a more serious disorder, such as a persistent infection or inflammatory bowel disease. In children, particularly young children, diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Call your doctor if your child's diarrhea doesn't improve within 24 hours or if your baby:. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can be life-threatening if untreated. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems.
You can help protect your infant from rotavirus, the most common cause of viral diarrhea in children, with one of two approved vaccines.
Ask your baby's doctor about having your baby vaccinated. Diarrhea commonly affects people who travel to countries where there's inadequate sanitation and contaminated food. To reduce your risk:. Watch what you drink.
Drink bottled water, soda, beer or wine served in its original container. Avoid tap water and ice cubes. Use bottled water even for brushing your teeth. Keep your mouth closed while you shower.
Beverages made with boiled water, such as coffee and tea, are probably safe. Remember that alcohol and caffeine can aggravate diarrhea and worsen dehydration. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
Anti-diarrheal Medicines: OTC Relief for Diarrhea
Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Colon and small intestine Open pop-up dialog box Close. Colon and small intestine The small intestine and colon are components of your digestive tract, which processes the foods you eat. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. More Information What's causing my infant's diarrhea? Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Diarrhea.
Accessed March 27, Diarrheal diseases: Acute and chronic. American College of Gastroenterology. Fleisher GR. Evaluation of diarrhea in children. Managing diarrhea. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Rotavirus vaccination.Diarrhea is never a good thing, but for an infant or toddler, it can be very bad—even life-threatening. If the bout of loose, watery stools lasts more than a day, young children run the risk of dehydration—the loss of essential fluids that contain salts and other minerals needed for the body to function properly.
Frequent, loose stools along with repeated vomiting may also be cause for concern. But giving an infant or toddler one of these anti-diarrheal products can be harmful, says Benjamin Ortiz, M. Infants should continue to be given breast milk or their usual formula.
If diarrhea persists or is frequent, a change in diet and treatment with oral rehydration solutions may be necessary. They often come in liquid or popsicle forms, and in different flavors.
You can find these OTC products in drugstores and some retail stores. Avoid using home remedies for diarrhea like boiled milk or rice water. Foods and fluids with higher sugar content, such as juice, cookies, cakes and sodas, can contribute to the diarrhea by pulling more fluid into the intestines, causing the excess fluid and sugar to come out the other end quickly.
Parents should discuss any concerns about worsening symptoms or the risk of dehydration with their child's pediatrician, adds Ortiz. These products may be used in older children, but ask your pediatrician or read the packaging first for directions.
Blood rarely appears in the stools of infants and children, says Ortiz. It appears as bright red blood that sits on top of the stool. Acute diarrhea comes on rapidly, is severe, but short in duration is usually caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection, according to NIDDK.
Rotavirus, a virus that inflames the stomach and intestines, was the leading cause of acute diarrhea in U. FDA has licensed two rotavirus vaccines to prevent this infection. The liquid vaccine is given by mouth to infants between the ages of 6 weeks and 32 weeks in a series of two or three doses, depending on which of the two vaccines is used.
A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause severe allergic reactions or other serious problems. Some studies have shown a small increase in cases of intussusception—a rare but serious bowel blockage—in infants after getting the rotavirus vaccine. But the risk of serious harm from the vaccine is very small and the benefit outweighs this risk. Rotavirus vaccination has reduced the number of babies needing emergency care or hospitalization for rotavirus disease by about 85 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chronic ongoing or recurring diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts more than one week may be related to other problems. Enter your email address to subscribe:.Medically reviewed by Drugs. Atropine affects the body in many different ways, such as reducing spasms in the bladder, stomach, and intestines.
Lomotil is a combination medicine used to treat diarrhea in adults and children who are at least 13 years old. Do not use Lomotil if you have diarrhea that is caused by bacteria or by taking an antibiotic.
You should not use Lomotil if you have a bile duct disorder causing jaundice yellowing of your skin or eyes. You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to atropine or diphenoxylate, or if you have:. Lomotil is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old. This medicine has not been proven safe or effective in children younger than 13 years old.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.
Loperamide (including Imodium)
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device not a kitchen spoon. Drink plenty of liquids to keep from getting dehydrated while you have diarrhea. Your doctor may recommend an electrolyte supplement such as Gatorade or Pedialyte.
Carefully follow all care instructions.
It may take up to 48 hours before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Call your doctor if you still have diarrhea after 10 days, or if you have a fever.
Keep Lomotil where a child cannot reach it. An overdose of atropine and diphenoxylate can be fatal to a child. Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at An overdose of Lomotil can cause breathing problems and may result in death or permanent brain damage. Early overdose symptoms include weakness, blurred vision, slurred speech, feeling hot, fast heartbeats, slowed breathing, fainting, seizure, or coma.
Report any early overdose symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Lomotil will affect you.
Your reactions could be impaired. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise, in hot weather, or by not drinking enough fluids. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type and amount of liquids you should drink. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction : hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Acute Diarrhoea in Children
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.Back to Medicines A to Z. Loperamide is a medicine to treat diarrhoea runny poo. It can help with short term diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome IBS.
Loperamide is also used for longer lasting diarrhoea from bowel problems such as Crohn's diseaseulcerative colitis and short bowel syndrome. If you have a colostomy to give you a stoma an opening in your stomach to collect poo from your bodyloperamide can help to slow down your bowel and make your poo thicker.
It comes as tablets, capsules and a liquid. You can also get tablets which melt in your mouth. The liquid is only available on prescription. Loperamide is also available combined with simethicone. Simethicone is used to treat wind. Having the 2 medicines together helps if you have diarrhoea with painful stomach cramps and bloating.
If you have diarrhoea with IBS, talk to your doctor before taking loperamide if you:. If you've bought loperamide from a pharmacy or shop, follow the instructions that come with the packet.
If your doctor has prescribed loperamide for you or your child, follow their instructions about how and when to take it. The capsules and tablets all contain the same amount of loperamide 2mg whether you get them on prescription or buy them yourself.
They all work as well as each other but some of the products have different labels. Some supermarkets and pharmacies sell their own versions of loperamide, usually called 'anti-diarrhoea' or 'diarrhoea relief' capsules. However, they're no different from other brands. You can also get loperamide combined with simethicone to help if you have painful wind and bloating as well as diarrhoea. Most cases of diarrhoea get better in 5 to 7 days.Pediatrics – Pediatric Diarrhea: By Jason Silverman M.D.
If your diarrhoea doesn't stop in 7 days, talk to your doctor. It is important to understand the causes and to treat any complications, for instance dehydration. If your doctor prescribes loperamide for long lasting diarrhoea, they will tell you how much to take. The usual starting dose is:.
Once you're on the right dose, your doctor will usually recommend splitting your dose so you take half in the morning and half in the afternoon or evening.
Occasionally patients with a stoma need a higher dose. Only take a higher dose if your doctor tells you to. You can give children over 12 years old with short term diarrhoea the same dose as adults.
But if they are 12 to 17 years old and have IBS or long lasting diarrhoea, they should only take it if their doctor prescribes it. If a doctor prescribes loperamide for a child under 12 - or for a child aged 12 to 17 years old with IBS or long lasting diarrhoea - they will use your child's weight or age to work out the right dose. The dose also depends on your child's symptoms.This leaflet has been written specifically for parents and carers about the use of this medicine in children.
The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again. You should only give your child loperamide if your doctor has prescribed it. If your child has diarrhoea, do not buy loperamide from the pharmacist to give to them. You must take them to see your doctor first. If your child has diarrhoea runny pooit is important that they drink a lot of liquid so they do not become dehydrated.
Normally this is enough and they will not need any medicine. Sometimes children need to take loperamide to reduce infectious diarrhoea, especially if they have had it for a long time. If your doctor has prescribed loperamide, it is important that your child takes it to reduce their diarrhoea. Loperamide is usually given once at the start of treatment and then after each loose stool diarrhoea up to four times in a day, until the diarrhoea is better.
It should not be taken more often than every 3 hours or for longer than 2 days.
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Your doctor will work out the amount of loperamide the dose that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
The dose at the start of treatment is usually higher than the doses after each loose stool diarrhoea. Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet. Capsules should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice.
Your child should not chew the capsule. Liquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
You are unlikely to do harm if you give an extra dose of loperamide by mistake. If you concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or NHS Direct in England and Wales; 24 24 24 in Scotland. Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice. Your child is unlikely to get side-effects with loperamide.It affects most people from time to time and is usually nothing to worry about. There are many different causes of diarrhoea, but a bowel infection gastroenteritis is a common cause in both adults and children.
These infections can sometimes be caught during travel abroad, particularly to areas with poor standards of public hygiene. This is known as travellers' diarrhoea. Most cases of diarrhoea clear up after a few days without treatment, and you may not need to see your GP. It's very important that babies and small children do not become dehydrated. You should eat solid food as soon as you feel able to. If you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and they have diarrhoea, you should try to feed them as normal.
Stay at home until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea to prevent spreading any infection to others.
However, these are not usually necessary, and most types should not be given to children. Read more about treating diarrhoea. Contact your GP or call NHS 24's service for advice if you're concerned about yourself or your child. You should also contact your GP if your or your child's diarrhoea is particularly persistent, as this may be a sign of a more serious problem.
Diarrhoea is often caused by an infection. You can reduce your risk by making sure you maintain high standards of hygiene. Read more about preventing diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is where you frequently pass watery or loose poo. Some people may also have other symptoms, depending on the cause. The excessive loss of water in your poo can also sometimes lead to dehydrationwhich can be serious if it's not recognised and treated quickly.
Read more about the symptoms of dehydration. Contact your GP or call NHS 24's service for advice if you are concerned about yourself or your child. You should also contact your GP if your child has persistent diarrhoea. You should also contact your GP if you have persistent diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea usually occurs when fluid cannot be absorbed from the contents of your bowel, or when extra fluid is secreted into your bowel, causing watery poo. The patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine should state whether diarrhoea is a possible side effect. Read more about when to visit your GP if you have diarrhoea. For example, your blood can be tested for signs of inflammation, which may suggest inflammatory bowel disease. Read more about the possible causes of diarrhoea.
It can be useful for diagnosing conditions that affect your rectum and bowel. Diarrhoea will usually clear up without treatment after a few days, particularly if it's caused by an infection.
Take small, frequent sips of water. Ideally, adults should drink a lot of liquids that contain water, salt, and sugar. Examples are water mixed with juice and soup broth.
If you're drinking enough fluid, your urine will be light yellow or almost clear. It's also very important for babies and small children not to become dehydrated. Give your child frequent sips of water, even if they are vomiting.
A small amount is better than none. If you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and they have diarrhoea, you should continue to feed them as normal. ORS can also be used to treat dehydration that has already occurred. The amount they should drink will depend on their size and weight.