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Diarrhea,Age 11 and Younger - Home Treatment

General tips

  • Avoid giving your child juice, chicken broth, soda pop, sports drinks, ginger ale, or tea. These drinks do not contain the right mixture of minerals and sugar to replace lost fluids and may make the diarrhea worse.
    • Do not offer soda pop, juice, ice cream, or candy, because they contain a lot of sugar and lack the calories and minerals your child needs.
    • You may use plain water to replace lost fluids if your child is older than 1 year of age and is eating food.
  • Do not withhold food from your child. Studies have shown that children who are fed easily digestible foods have shorter episodes of diarrhea.
  • If your child drinks cow's milk, he or she may continue to drink it.
  • Do not give your child prescription or nonprescription medicine to stop diarrhea unless you are told to do so by your child's doctor.
  • Protect the diaper area with zinc oxide or another cream. Diaper rash is common after diarrhea.
  • Wash your hands and your child's hands thoroughly after each diaper change and before each feeding.
  • Until your doctor has assured you that your child's diarrhea is not infectious, your child should not attend school or day care.
  • Learn how to clean up diarrhea safely. Protect your hands with gloves while cleaning up. Wash your hands after you are done cleaning up.

If your child is also vomiting, learn about home treatment for vomiting.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Blood in diarrhea develops.
  • Signs of dehydration develop. These include your child being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
  • Your child has diarrhea and a fever.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 01, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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