Diarrhea is usually caused by an infection in the intestines and the germs that cause the infection are:
Viral gastroenteritis (often called the “stomach flu”) is a common illness in children. It causes diarrhea and, often, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms usually last a few days, but kids (especially babies) who cannot take enough liquids may become dehydrated.
The main virus that affects babies and young kids; and can bring on watery diarrhea is called Rotavirus. The rotavirus vaccine can protect children from this illness. Enteroviruses, like coxsackievirus, also can cause diarrhea in kids, especially during the summer months.
Different types of bacteria can cause diarrhea, including E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella. These bacteria are often responsible for cases of ‘food poisoning,’ which can cause diarrhea and vomiting within a few hours after someone is infected.
Parasitic infections that can cause diarrhea in children include giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis.
Kids can sometimes get diarrhea from:
Kids often get crampy belly pain first, followed by diarrhea that can last 3–5 days. Other symptoms may include:
“Don’t give your child an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so.”
Call the Doctor Right Away if Your Child Seems Dehydrated.
It is almost impossible to prevent kids from ever getting diarrhea. But there are some ways to make it less likely:
Call your doctor if your child has diarrhea and is younger than 6 months old. Also, call if your child has: