Richmond Practice - Diarrhoea in children

Diarrhoea in children
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Diarrhoea is the passage of frequent liquid stools. Most often diarrhoea is due to a viral infection: commonly called intestinal flu. It lasts for 3–5 days and may be accompanied by fever and vomiting.

It is important to give your child plenty to drink, to avoid them becoming dehydrated. If you are breast feeding: you should continue and, in addition, follow the rehydration instructions below. Liquid stools are normal for a breast fed baby.

If your baby is bottle fed: stop the formula milk for 4–6 hours and follow the rehydration instructions below. If your child is already taking solids, you should follow the rehydration instructions below and give them a diet containing carrot, banana, apple, rice, potatoes, and lean meat.

Rehydration instructions

For the first four hours: 50 mls liquid/kg weigh, for example: for a baby of 6 kg give 300 mls. Give this liquid in small quantities very often, even if they continue to vomit. After 4–6 hours: give 100 mls each time the baby has diarrhoea.

Consult your doctor if:

  • the diarrhoea is frequent (more than 5/24 hours) and the child is less than two years old
  • the stools contain blood
  • your child refuses to drink or if he vomits all that he drinks
  • your child passes little urine (less than once every eight hours) or if he is too quiet
  • your child appears ill and has a fever, even if the diarrhoea is not considerable.
Both our doctors and our paediatrician assist with treating diarrhoea conditions. If diarrhoea persists the child may become dehydrated, especially if they are less than two years old.