Most children do get diarrhea occasionally, and it’s usually not severe enough to require a visit to the emergency pediatrician. This common health issue can be caused by foodborne illnesses, viral infections, lactose intolerance, and sometimes parasitic infections. You can schedule a visit with your child’s pediatrician if diarrhea is a persistent problem. If it becomes severe enough to cause dehydration, your child can be treated at an urgent care for kids.
Dealing with Mild Diarrhea
Mild diarrhea will generally clear up on its own without complications. Continue to feed your child as usual. Nursing infants should continue to breastfeed. Do try to encourage your child to consume more fluids, or to offer a nursing infant a breast more frequently.
Offering Oral Rehydration Fluids
Children with moderate or severe diarrhea need more than just water—they need electrolytes. Oral rehydration fluids are readily available in stores and pharmacies. Your child can safely consume a large quantity of these fluids, as long as he or she isn’t vomiting.
Feeding Your Child Tummy-Friendly Foods
If your child isn’t throwing up, he or she will likely prefer to eat smaller meals more frequently. Offer your child bland foods that won’t upset the stomach. Cream of wheat cereal made with water or milk is a good choice. Others include:
- Rice cereal
- Mashed potatoes
- Cooked carrots
Avoid feeding your child anything with lots of sugar or fat, such as soda, fruit juice, cheese, desserts, and anything fried.
Knowing When to Call the Doctor
Call the doctor right away if your child has any bloody stool or develops a high fever, or if the diarrhea does not go away. Emergency pediatric services are needed for children with dehydration, which may be indicated by:
- Decrease in urine output
- Few to no wet diapers
- Lack of tears when crying
- Dry mouth
Pediatrics After Hours provides compassionate urgent care for kids in the DFW area. We encourage families to see their regular doctors whenever possible, but our emergency pediatrics team is available to help when a medical issue can’t wait for an appointment. Call 972-355-2273 or check our website for our four locations.