Diarrhea, most often a brief, if unpleasant, experience, can indicate a more serious illness. And there’s a risk that your child can become dehydrated. Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care in Manassas, Virginia, is a specialty service with expert pediatricians available day and night to diagnose and treat sick children. If you’re concerned about your child’s health when they have diarrhea, visit Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care today, give them a call, or book an appointment online.
Diarrhea occurs when your child’s stool becomes loose and watery. It can be due to a digestive upset, an infection, food poisoning, or a dysfunction in one of their body’s systems. If you’re concerned about your child’s diarrhea because they’re showing other signs of ill health, call Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care for advice.
You should also contact your pediatrician if you notice any striking changes in your child’s behavior, if there’s blood in their diarrhea, or their temperature rises above 102 degrees. The main concern with diarrhea is that it can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include:
If your child has any of these signs of dehydration, call Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care right away.
Mild cases of diarrhea will clear up without special treatment, and your child can carry on eating their regular diet, including breast milk or formula. If you notice your infant becoming bloated or gassy after drinking formula, they might not be able to tolerate cow’s milk. Talk to your pediatrician at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care for advice on changing their diet.
If your child’s diarrhea is severe or long-lasting, then they’ll need to drink an electrolyte solution to replace the water and essential salts lost because of the diarrhea. Electrolytes are available over the counter at the pharmacy, typically as a powder that you mix with water. They are often fruit-flavored to make them more appealing to your child.
You can use electrolytes under your pediatrician’s guidance until your child recovers from their diarrhea and starts producing normal volumes of urine. If your child is vomiting as well as having diarrhea, electrolytes might not be as effective, so make sure your pediatrician knows if your child can’t keep the electrolyte solution down.
If your child has diarrhea, always follow your pediatrician’s advice on treatment and the use of electrolyte solutions. Don’t use antidiarrheal medicine unless your pediatrician prescribes it.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t prevent your child from eating if they want to, but offer smaller portions and avoid anything that might upset their stomach. Steer clear of boiled milk and salty soups and go for bland, plain foods. Remember the acronym BRAT — bananas, rice, apples, toast. These foods won’t aggravate your child’s digestive system and they can help firm up loose stools.
When your child has diarrhea, contact Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care for advice, book an appointment online, or come down to the walk-in clinic.