McKnight Pediatrics


General Diarrhea Information

Diarrhea is a symptom that can occur for different reasons. The most common cause in children is a minor viral illness. Diarrhea refers to having multiple loose, watery stools. How many and how often varies. Diarrhea that occurs in the setting of a stomach virus is often accompanied by fever and vomiting. It is important to consider how sick or well your child appears overall when trying to determine the significance of the diarrhea. The age of your child is also a very important factor as young infants are at greater risk for dehydration than older children. Other important considerations are the duration and frequency of the loose stools and the presence of stomach pains, blood and/or mucus. If your child has 4-5 loose stools, but is eating and drinking well, is active and urinating, you can try giving clear liquids like white grape juice, Pedialyte, rice milk and bland foods like rice, white potatoes, applesauce, crackers, toast or plain chicken. If the loose stools persist for 2-3 days, call the office for an appointment. If your child is not urinating at least every 6 hours, appears more sick or is lethargic, you should call the office for an appointment.