What is Diarrhoea?
- Increased frequency – This means that your child begins having bowel movements more than twice as often as usual.
- Looser consistency – Stools have become more loose, watery, mucous, green or runny than usual.
What causes diarrhoea?
- Antibiotics: Diarrhoea is a common side effect with antibiotic use.
- Infections – different viruses and bacteria can cause diarrhoea. This cause of diarrhoea also presents with fever and vomiting.
- Viral: Most common are Rotavirus and the flu. Only treated symptomatically.
- Bacterial: coli and salmonella are the most common causes. Most important symptom that may help differentiate between viral and bacterial causes is that in the case of bacterial infection one would find blood in the stool.
- Parasites: Identified by watery stools that lasts more than two weeks.
- Milk protein allergy – Most common non-infectious cause of diarrhoea in babies and toddlers. This cause for diarrhoea does not normally present with acute symptoms as in the case of infectious causes. This type of diarrhoea is more chronic, with mild abdominal discomfort only.
When to be concerned
- Bloody diarrhoea
- Moderate dehydration
- Fever for more than 3 days together with diarrhoea
- Jaundice (yellow eyes or skin)
- Weight loss or lethargy
- Severe or continued vomiting
- Diarrhoea not improving after 3-5 days of home treatments