Childhood Diarrhea: Common Causes and When to Seek Medical Care

Childhood Diarrhea: Common Causes and When to Seek Medical Care

If your child has diarrhea, you usually don’t have to be too concerned. Typically, their loose, watery stool clears up in roughly one to two days. However, if your child’s condition continues for several days, they need to be seen by one of our medical professionals.

Our team at Northeast Pediatric Associates PA treats your child with the highest level of care. We can provide a thorough examination to understand the root cause of what’s going on in your child’s body. 

Causes of diarrhea

Your child’s diarrhea can result from many different things, including:

If your child has visited a foreign country, they could be at risk for traveler’s diarrhea, which is caused by eating food or drinking water that contains bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Symptoms that require medical attention

We recommend that you call our practice immediately if your child experiences any of the following symptoms.

Your child’s diarrhea persists more than 24 hours

If your child has a stomach bug, it should resolve on its own within 24 hours. But, if it continues after a few days, your child needs to see us right away.

Your child is dehydrated

If you have an infant that doesn’t produce a wet diaper after three or more hours and isn’t drinking much liquid, they could be dehydrated, which can be a serious side effect from diarrhea. Other signs to look for include not seeing any tears when they cry or noticing that they have a dry mouth. You can also see if their skin lacks laxity. 

Mild dehydration can’t be solved with water alone. You need to rehydrate your child with an option like Pedialyte®, which you can find at the grocery store. It has electrolytes of sodium and potassium, which are important nutrients that get lost when you have diarrhea.

If you question the severity of your child’s dehydration, call our team immediately. They might need intravenous (IV) fluids.

Your child has a fever in addition to diarrhea

A fever higher than 102°F might mean that your child has a bacterial or viral infection that needs medical attention right away.

Your child is unresponsive

Sleeping or resting is a natural response to sickness. However, if your child seems lifeless or if their sleepiness seems excessive, you need to make sure their diarrhea isn’t resulting from a more serious issue.

Your child’s face has a sunken appearance

When your child loses the plumpness in their face or if their eyes look sunken, they could be dehydrated or nutritionally deficient. Our team can accurately diagnose your child and get them the nutrients they need.

No one knows your child better than you do. If you notice symptoms that seem serious to you, take the safe route, and call our team. We provide sick visits and after-hours care where we evaluate your child and help them get well.

With offices in San Antonio, Northcentral San Antonio, Schertz, and Castroville, Texas, reach out to the location nearest you if you have concerns about your child’s diarrhea and their  symptoms. Call or book your appointment online today.

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