Home
About Us
Our Services
New Patients
Forms & Policies
Medical Resources
   Emergencies
   Medical Conditions
      Abdominal Pain, Recurrent
      Acne
      Acute Ear Infections and Your Child
      Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
      Acute Otitis Media
      Acute Strep Throat
      Addison
      ADHD and Your School-aged Child
      AIDS/HIV
      Allergies in Children
      Anaphylaxis
      Anemia and Your Young Child
      Anesthesia and Your Child
      Ankle Sprain Treatment (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Antibiotics and Your Child
      Anxiety
      Appendicitis
      Asthma
      Asthma and Exercise (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Asthma and Your Child
      Asthma Triggers
      Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
      Breast Enlargement, Premature
      Breath-Holding Spells
      Bronchiolitis
      Bronchiolitis and Your Young Child
      Care of the Premature Infant
      Celiac Disease
      Chickenpox
      Chickenpox Immunization
      Chickenpox Vaccine, The
      Coarctation of the Aorta
      Colds
      Common Childhood Infections
      Congenital Hip Dysplasia
      Constipation
      Constipation and Your Child
      Coxsackie A16
      Croup
      Croup and Your Young Child
      Croup: When Your Child Needs Hospital Care
      Crying and Your Baby: How to Calm a Fussy or Colicky Baby
      Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
      Depression
      Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip
      Diabetic Mother, Infant of
      Diaper Rash
      Diarrhea and Dehydration
      Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Water Loss (Dehydration)
      Ear Infection
      Ear Infections
      Eating Disorders
      Eczema
      Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
      Enlarged Lymph Nodes
      Erythema Multiforme
      Eye Problems Related to Headache
      Febrile Seizure
      Febrile Seizures
      Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
      Fever
      Fever and Your Child
      Fifth Disease
      Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
      Flu
      Flu, The
      Food Allergies and Your Child
      Food Born Illnesses
      Fragile X Syndrome
      Gastroenteritis, Viral
      Gastroesophageal Reflux
      Giardiasis
      Guide to Children's Dental Health, A
      Hand Foot and Mouth
      Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease
      Head Lice
      Headache Related to Eye Problems
      Hemangioma
      Hepatitis A
      Hepatitis A Immunization
      Hepatitis B
      Hepatitis B Immunization
      Hepatitis C
      Hib Immunization
      High Blood Pressure
      Hip Dysplasia (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip)
      HIV/AIDS
      How to Take Your Child's Temperature?
      Hyperactivity
      Hypertension
      Hypothyroidism
      Immunization
      Infant of a Diabetic Mother
      Infectious Mononucleosis
      Influenza Immunization
      Influenza-Seasonal
      Inhaled and Intranasal Corticosteroids and Your Child
      Kawasaki Syndrome
      Language Development in Young Children
      Lead Poisoning
      Leukemia
      Lung Hypoplasia
      Lyme Disease
      Lymphadenopathy
      Measles
      Mental Health
      Middle Ear Fluid and Your Child
      MMR Immunization
      Molluscum Contagiosum
      Mumps
      Obesity in Childhood
      Osgood-Schlatter Disease
      Otitis Media, Acute
      Pneumococcal Conjugate Immunization
      Pneumonia and Your Child
      Polio Immunization
      Premature Thelarche
      Prematurity
      Prematurity, Retinopathy of
      Pulmonary Hypertension
      Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH & SPH)
      Retinopathy of Prematurity
      Rheumatic Fever, Acute
      Ringworm (Tinea)
      Roseola
      Rotavirus
      Rubella (German Measles)
      Safety of Blood Transfusions
      Scabies
      Seasonal Influenza (Flu) 2014–2015
      Separation Anxiety
      Sinusitis
      Sinusitis and Your Child
      Sleep Apnea and Your Child
      Smoking
      Speech Development in Young Children
      Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
      Strep Throat
      Strep Throat-Acute
      Strep Throat-Recurrent
      Stuttering and the Young Child
      Swine Flu
      Swine Flu (H1N1) FAQ
      Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccine
      Swollen Glands
      Tattoos
      Tear Duct, Blocked
      Tetralogy of Fallot
      Thyroid Problems
      Tinea (ringworm infection)
      Tonsils and the Adenoid
      Toxic Shock Syndrome
      Toxoplasmosis
      Turner Syndrome
      Type 2 Diabetes: Tips for Healthy Living
      Underdeveloped Lungs
      Urinary Tract Infection
      Urinary Tract Infections in Young Children
      Varicella or Chickenpox
      Varivax Immunization
      Vesicoureteral Reflux
      Wheezing-Infant
      Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
      Wilson Disease
   What's Going Around?
   Pediatrics
Contact Us

Practice News

Anywhere Family Practice is thrilled to announce the addition of Dr. Julie Johnson to our team.
We will be transitioning to a new patient portal in April. Watch for new updates on this website!

Is Your Child Sick?TM

 

Are You Sick?



Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Water Loss (Dehydration)

Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

Diarrhea (loose poop) and vomiting, or “throwing up,” are why many parents call the doctor. Your child's doctor may call this gastroenteritis (GAS- troh-en-tur-EYE-tis). These symptoms are often caused by a virus*.

Your child may first have a fever and some vomiting. Diarrhea often starts later. The symptoms usually go away in a day or two. But they can last a week before getting better.

One danger with diarrhea and vomiting is that your child's body can get dried out or dehydrated (dee-hye-DRAY-dud). This happens when the body loses too much water.

Call the Doctor If…

…your child has diarrhea, vomiting, and is younger than 6 months or your child has:

  • A fever over 102°F or 39°C.

  • Blood in the stool (poop) or vomit.

  • Green vomit.

  • Vomiting for more than 12 hours or diarrhea for more than 2 days.

  • Belly pain.

Also Call the Doctor If…

. ..your child has any of these signs of being too dry:

  • Pees very little (wets fewer than 6 diapers per day)

  • Has no tears when crying

  • Can't or won't drink anything or feels very thirsty

  • Has a dry, sticky mouth, or dry lips

  • Looks like he or she has lost weight

  • Has sunken eyes or sunken soft spot on head (for babies)

  • Acts very tired or strange

Most of the time you can treat this by getting your child to drink something and eat simple foods.

(See the list below.)

But your child may need a special fluid that you can buy in a store. It's called an electrolyte drink*. If your child can't drink this, then he or she may need to go to the hospital.

Call your child's doctor if vomiting or diarrhea won't go away. The doctor may want to check your child.

What Can You Give Your Child When He or She Has Diarrhea?

For children 1 year old or older, these simple foods and drinks are fine:

  • Rice

  • Wheat bread or pasta

  • Boiled or baked potatoes

  • Cereal, like oatmeal

  • Boiled egg

  • Lean meat like chicken

  • Fruits and vegetables (cooked)

  • Bananas and applesauce

  • Yogurt or milk

  • Breast milk or infant formula

  • Special electrolyte drinks

For all ages, don't give these foods or drinks:

  • Fatty foods like French fries, chips, ice cream, cheese, or fried meats

  • Sugary foods like candy, cookies, or cake

  • Sugary drinks like juices or soda pop or very salty broths or soups when diarrhea is bad

  • Never give boiled milk.

For children younger than 1 year check with your child's doctor.

What to Do for Vomiting

  • Give small sips of clear fluids every 10 to 15 minutes.

  • If your child keeps vomiting but is NOT dry, wait 1 to 2 hours before trying again. Stop if your child starts to throw up again, and call the doctor.

  • If your child is keeping down fluids and wants to eat, try giving small amounts of simple foods. See the chart on simple foods on the first page of this handout.

Remember, if you are worried or don't know what to do, call your child's doctor.

What to Do for Diarrhea

Most diarrhea lasts 3 to 6 days or even longer. Don't worry as long as your child acts well and is eating and drinking and peeing like usual.

Mild Illness

Most children should keep eating normal foods when they have mild diarrhea.

The doctor may suggest changing what your child eats for a few days. This might mean stopping cow's milk, but breastfeeding your baby is fine.

Moderate Illness

Children with moderate diarrhea can be cared for at home.

  • They need special fluids, like electrolyte drinks. Talk with the doctor about how much and how long to give these and which to buy.

  • Some children can't handle cow's milk when they have diarrhea. They may need to stop drinking it for a few days. Breastfeeding is fine for babies.

  • As your child gets better, he or she can go back to normal foods.

Severe (Very Bad) Illness

See the “Call the Doctor If” list. Call the doctor right away if your child shows any of those warning signs. You may need to take your child to the emergency room for treatment.

Answers to Common Questions

Q. What should you do when your child is vomiting?

A. Try to give small sips of clear fluids every 10 to 15 minutes. If vomiting continues, call your child's doctor.

Q. Should you keep a child with diarrhea from drinking or eating?

A. A child with diarrhea can usually drink and eat most foods. If there is enough diarrhea to make your child very thirsty, he or she needs a special fluid called an electrolyte drink.

Soda pop, soups, and juices are OK for a child with mild diarrhea. But don't give these to a child with bad diarrhea. They have the wrong amounts of sugar and salt and can make your child sicker. Boiled skim milk is dangerous for all children. Sports drinks may be used for school-aged children.

As soon as the dryness (dehydration) clears up, let children eat simple foods. See the list of foods on the first page of this handout. They can have as much as they want.

Q. What about diarrhea medicines?

A. These do not help in most cases. They can sometimes be harmful. Never use them unless your child's doctor tells you to.

Remember These Dos and Dont’s

  • Do watch for signs of dehydration.

  • Do call the doctor if your child has a high fever, has blood in his or her stool (poop), or starts acting different than normal.

  • Do keep feeding your child if he or she is not throwing up.

  • Do give your child special electrolyte drinks if your child is thirsty.

  • Don't try to make your own electrolyte drinks.

  • Don't give your child boiled milk.

  • Don't use “anti-diarrhea” medicines unless told to by the doctor.

Copyright © 2008