Diarrhea in children

Children under the age of five are more prone to have diarrhea- a condition in which they pass loose, watery stool with an increased frequency. Due to which they have to go to the bathroom more frequently. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, eventually leading to a life-threatening condition called shock. If your child is passing more than 4 to 5 stools in a day with loose consistency, you must visit the best child specialist in Islamabad.

What are the types of diarrhea?

There are two types of diarrhea, classified as:

Acute diarrhea

It lasts for two to three days. Mostly it occurs due to bacterial or viral infestation.

Chronic diarrhea

It lasts more than three days and occurs due to other health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or lactose intolerance.

What are the signs and symptoms of diarrhea?

The signs and symptoms of diarrhea may include:


Loose stools




Abdominal cramps

Blood in stools




Rectal pain

A decrease in urine output

Dry and flaky skin



The urgency to use the bathroom

Chronic diarrhea can cause weight loss and malnutrition.

What are the causes of diarrhea in children?

There can be many causes of diarrhea in children, like:

Viral infection

Bacterial infection

Eating spicy food

Lactose intolerance

Food intolerance

Food allergy

Drinking contaminated water

A side effect of any medicine

Inflammatory bowel diseases

Irritable bowel syndrome

Intake of laxatives


Gluten allergy

Diarrhea is more common in children as compared to adults because they put everything in their mouths. Children in the crawling stages crawl on floors and put their hands directly in their mouths. Due to these reasons, they are more prone to catch germs, which eventually causes diarrhea.

What is the treatment for diarrhea in children?


During diarrhea, your child loses water, which can become life-threatening for them. Therefore, to replenish fluid and electrolytes, give your child an oral rehydration solution to drink. You can easily find it at the pharmacy or even in the grocery store. If diarrhea is not severe, you can treat it at home with fluid replacement. But, if it is severe, you may need to hospitalize the child, where they may receive drips intravenously.


You must breastfeed your child or give them formula milk if they are under the age of two. Do not stop giving them milk with diarrhea. When they get better, give them their normal diet as well as cereals and mashed potatoes. Whereas children who are older and eat, you can give them dairy products a bit late. In the meanwhile, they can eat an apple, rice, potato, and toast. Eating yogurt may also help in giving them probiotics.


The healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics or antiprotozoals, along with an oral rehydration solution. Follow the instructions of the doctor and make sure that you complete the given course of treatment. If you would not do that, it can result in antibiotic resistance, which makes it difficult to treat any bacterial infection in the body.

Moreover, you can also give your child probiotics- that are good bacteria. You can find them in the form of a solution, available at any pharmacy. These good bacteria help in keeping your child’s stomach healthy.

How can you prevent diarrhea in children?

To prevent diarrhea in children, you must take the following measures.

Ask them to wash their hands frequently and especially before eating.

Before feeding them, you also must wash your hands.

If they are bottle-fed, make sure to wash their bottles properly and sterilize them. It helps in killing the germs that grow inside the bottles.

Do not give your child milk reconstituted for more than half an hour.

Cook their food at home. Do not give them food cooked in restaurants.

Ask your child not to drink water from anywhere outside the home. Always give them boil water to drink.

Make sure they have their water bottle at schools and nursing cares.

Incorporate yogurt in their diet as it contains probiotics.


Diarrhea in children can become fatal. To prevent an emergency, you must rehydrate them with an oral rehydration solution. If your child is below 18 months, watch their head for sunken fontanel. If that occurs, take them to the emergency department. Also, if they are vomiting and unable to drink, take them to the hospital as soon as possible. If your child is suffering from chronic diarrhea, visit a child specialist in Islamabad.