If your child’s bowel movement suddenly changes to a loose and watery stool and going to the toilet more often than usual, your child may have diarrhea³³.
It is common for young children to have diarrhea³³ and this is due to various reasons. Viruses (like rotavirus and adenovirus), bacteria, parasites, changes in diet (such as drinking too much fruit juice), problems within the intestines (such as allergy to foods), and the use of some medicines³³ can trigger diarrhea in your child.
The stomach and intestines, collectively called the gut, are home to both good and bad bacteria. Ideally, good or friendly bacteria outnumber the bad bacteria, and this keeps your child’s gut healthy. In situations when this balance is disrupted, bad or harmful bacteria attacks the gut and cause diarrhea¹⁷,³⁴.
In diarrhea, the main danger is dehydration or the loss of fluids in the body. The younger the child, the more quickly this can happen³⁵.
If your child shows one or more of the below signs of dehydration call the doctor³⁵.
- the inside of the mouth is very dry (no saliva)
- no tears when crying
- eyes seem sunken
- weight loss
- low energy
- hard to wake up
- weakness (hard to sit up or walk, floppy)
Oral rehydration is the first-line treatment for all of the
children with diarrhea³⁶. Giving your child probiotics, is also effective in reducing the duration and intensity of symptoms of diarrhea³³.