Diarrhea,Age 11 and Younger - Prevention
Do not allow your child to drink
untreated or unfiltered water from a lake or stream or unpasteurized milk.
Untreated water and unpasteurized milk are sources for viral, bacterial, and
parasitic infections, such as
Giardia lamblia. Avoid having your child brush his or
her teeth with untreated water. Even a small amount of untreated water can
contain enough parasites, virus, and bacteria to cause diarrhea.
Diarrhea can spread because of poor hygiene.
- Practice good hand-washing.
- Be sure to wash your hands and your child's
hands after each diaper change or trip to the bathroom.
- Teach your
child to wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and before every
- Do not place soiled diapers on surfaces that are used to
prepare or serve food.
- If your child attends school or day care, keep your
child at home until your doctor has determined that his or her diarrhea cannot be
passed to others (is not infectious).
Food poisoning is a common cause of diarrhea in children and
adults. Most cases of food poisoning at home may be prevented by taking a few
precautions when preparing and storing food. Perishable foods, such as eggs,
meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, and milk products, should be treated
with extra care. Also, precautions should be taken if you are pregnant, you
impaired immune system or a chronic illness, or you
are preparing foods for other high-risk groups, such as young children or older
people. For more information, see the topic
Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling.
The U.S. Department of
Agriculture recommends the following steps to prevent food poisoning:
Many counties in the United States have extension services
listed in the phone book. These services can answer your question about safe
home canning and food preparation.
When you travel in wilderness areas or to other countries of the world,
it is common to get diarrhea from food or water because the methods of food
preparation are different. For information on how to prevent traveler's
Rotavirus vaccine(What is a PDF document?) helps protect babies and young children from getting a
rotavirus infection, which can cause diarrhea and
dehydration. Talk to your child's doctor about this
vaccine for your child.