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When to Worry About Diarrhea in Children?

by Dr. Vishnu K R at 07.Jun.2017 on Parenting & Children's Health

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Diarrhea is dangerous for a child. It appears harmless, but slowly it makes the child sick. It makes the child pass out and to be brought to the hospital as an emergency. Here are some tips to look for the danger signs of diarrhea.

Image: When to Worry About Diarrhea in Children?"


Passing watery stools is diarrhea. It does not cause much harm if the child has no dehydration, but medical help should be sought. The doctor is the one to determine whether the child has dehydration or not. It is a more dangerous if the kid has vomiting along with watery stools. Diarrhea with danger signs should detect as early as possible by the parents. They are known for their mortality rates, so be careful.

Danger Signs:

  1. Vomiting.
  2. More watery stools, that is, more than 3 to 5 times per day.
  3. Altered sensorium, like drowsiness and fainting.
  4. Seizures.
  5. Blood in stools.
  6. If the child is not eating well.
  7. If the child is not thirsty.

Any one of the above, along with watery diarrhea require immediate hospitalization, irrespective of how playful the child is. Blood in watery stools is called dysentery, and it is caused by bacterial food poisoning. It requires management from intensive care unit. Severe forms of diarrhea cause the child to forget hours and the sense of thirst or hunger.


ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts):

  • It is the cure and prevention of further deterioration from diarrhea. It contains glucose, sodium, potassium, chloride, and citrate. The newer ones have zinc, magnesium, and calcium. A sachet of ORS is mixed with five glasses of water. That is the preparation to be given. Depending on the level of dehydration as assessed by the doctor, it is to be administered as a calculated loading dose immediately and some calculated maintenance dose after each stool. Do not worry, as the doctor will advise it to you in simpler terms.

Intensive Care:

  • If the diarrhea is very severe, then the outcome is a little bad. It requires administering IV (intravenous) drugs and IV fluids. But early intervention will prevent any the child's health from deteriorating.

By now, you know what to look for in your child. And the doctor will know what to look for in his patient. It is a teamwork between the parents and the medical staff. Fortunately, the teamwork is getting better by every week as we see lesser mortalities with diarrhea.

For more information consult a pediatric gastroenterologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician/pediatric-gastroenterology

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