What to Do When Your Child Has Diarrhea?

by jacquelyn on December 26, 2008

One of the worries or sufferings parents have to go through is when a child is sick. This is a time when the parent’s patience is truly being tested. A simple case of fever and flu is very mild compared to when a child is sick with diarrhea.

The experience is very bad especially when the child is still very young (< 2 years old). Expect sleepless nights to soothe the sick and cranky child. Normally the mother suffers the most due to having strong maternal feelings for the child.

The parents have to ensure that the medicine is being administered according to schedule. The child has to be cleaned and changed frequently throughout the day and night. Whenever this happened with my kids, my heart would normally drop to the pit of my stomach. The first thing to do is to get the sick child to see the doctor. The parents will be supplied with medicines and plenty of advice. If the diarrhea comes with vomiting, then it makes it twice as hard to handle. The doctor of course would blame the parents for not taking care of the child’s personal hygiene. Never mind the fact that the parents or caregiver are powerless to stop a curious and active child running all over the house and handling a lot of things at the same time.

When a child has diarrhea, it normally takes days (could reach a week) for it to go away before the child returns back to normal health. I normally have to make at least two trips to the doctor just to get reassurance that my child is getting better for every case that happened. The doctor normally emphasize that the medicines are consumed (e.g. antibiotics & rehydration salt) to make a speedy recovery. A different type of milk is also recommended (lactose free soy based milk) as the child’s stomach may not be able to tolerate the normal milk powder (cow based).

In a young child, diarrhea is normally caused by a virus called rotavirus. There is a vaccine for it but it must be given when the child is under 6 months old for it to be effective. It is contagious, so the caregivers must ensure proper hygiene control throughout the period. The child’s hygiene must also be properly control to prevent re-infection or reoccurrence.

As with other types of sickness, prevention is always better than cure. Not only have both the parents or caregiver and child suffered tremendously, it is also costly due to visits to the doctor, the extra diapers used up and the purchase of the special milk powder. For those parents who have gone through similar experiences know what I am talking about. For those who haven’t, there is nothing wrong to be prepared in advance by having some knowledge about it.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

KCLau December 31, 2008 at 11:55 am

My son got diarrhea on his first birthday.
It turned out to be a bacteria infection.


jacquelyn January 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm

My own daughter had diarrhea recently and the doctor diagnosed it as allergic to cow’s milk (we changed her milk powder to a different brand). I never would have guess but after we switch milk, she was back to herself again. Sigh!


Eg April 4, 2009 at 11:27 am

My son has so much diarrhea. I could hear him …. in so much pain. I felt so sorry for him. He never could shake it. They had to do a painful test on him. He still has it at the age of 4. We bring him to the doctors and they do test after test. Almost every time he goes he needs a stole sample. It kills him to get out alittle bit. But I am always there for him.


jacquelyn April 5, 2009 at 8:59 am

Hi Eg, when a child suffers, the parent also suffers with him. As a parent, we do our best to get our child the medical treatment that he needs and to prevent any sickness from occurring again. It can be difficult sometimes as we want our child to be healthy and happy.

The important thing is that you are there to support and love your child. I hope your son gets well soon!


nikki chandler August 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

My 3yr old girl has diarrhea..and she cant stop messing up her inderpants. She is potty trained, but the diarrhea wont allow her to make it to the bathroom in time…..What can I do ??


crystal January 1, 2012 at 3:18 am

my 2 year old has had diarrha for a week cries in pain we took him to the er and they said there is nothing they can do we taken him off milk and have been trying differnt non cows milk product but he doesn’t like the taste any ideas it is saturday and we can’t get him in until after the weekend any ideas on how to make this stuff taste better to him i have no money left to buy anything else


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