How do I care for a child or infant with diarrhea?

  • If the infant will not tolerate his or her normal feedings or if a child is drinking less fluid than normal, add a commercially available oral rehydration solution specially designed for children and infants.
  • Do not give over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications to children younger than 2 years. Use these with the guidance of the healthcare provider in older children.
  • Maintain the child’s normal diet. Try to limit sugar and artificial sweeteners. In addition, encourage the child to eat items like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
The most dangerous complication of diarrhea is dehydration. This is especially true the younger the infant or child is. So the most important care for infants with diarrhea is ensuring hydration -- making sure they drink enough. If they have fever, treat it with medicines such as Tylenol. If you feel that your child is not able to drink enough, the child should be evaluated by a physician and possibly admitted to the hospital so fluids can be given intravenously.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.