Understanding Diarrhea In Toddlers

Diarrhea in toddlers can wreaks havoc on not only the child, but the parents too. It makes it difficult to run errands, and you go through so many diapers and wipes (which can be costly).

How Common Is Toddler’s Diarrhea?

Young children tend to get diarrhea more often than adults do. It is the body’s natural response to rid itself of bad germs.

Colored Stool – Are There Any Difference?

Green is normal, even with diarrhea. It is green because of the rapid transit time from mouth to out. It just means that the stools didn’t stay long enough to be broken down. This is the most common color with diarrhea. Green can also be caused by foods that are green in color, or have green food coloring (such as Jell-O or leafy vegetables). Even grape flavored Pedialyte turns a bright green on the way out. Green stools and diarrhea may look black under poor lighting.

Black stools may contain blood from stomach bleeding, foods (licorice, Oreos, grape juice), and medicines like iron and Pepto-Bismol.

Red stool may also means there is blood from lower GI tract. But may also be from foods, food coloring, or even medications (ie, Amoxicillin).

If you give your toddler an anti-diarrhea medication, you may see white or clay colored diarrhea. White or light grey may also be a side effect of other medications, or even liver disease. If it persists, you may want to consider seeing your child’s doctor.

What Are The Symptoms Of Toddler’s Diarrhea?

The symptoms of a toddler’s diarrhea can vary from child to child. It is important to know what is normal for your child. An occasional loose stool isn’t anything to worry about. If your childs stools suddenly change are are more often, and looser and more watery, then it is probably diarrhea.

Symptoms would usually start with abdominal pain, followed by diarrhea. Depending on if it is from a virus or bacteria, the symptoms that come along with it can be fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.

Dehydration is a major concern. Some symptoms of dehydration is dizziness, dry mouth, dark yellow urine or little to no urine, few or no tears when crying, cool and dry skin, lack of energy. If you think your child is dehydrated, you can call your doctor, or take the child to an urgent care or ER.

When Should I Take My Child To The Doctor?

You should take your toddler to the doctor if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • a severe or prolonged case of diarrhea
  • diarrhea that contains blood or mucus
  • a fever of 102 or higher
  • repeated vomiting or the toddler is refusing to drink liquids
  • severe abdominal pain
  • signs of dehydration

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