Diarrhea in Children
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Diarrhea is very contagious if it is caused by an infection. It is important to
use good hand-washing technique, particularly in the following situations:
after cleaning aquariums or touching pets
after diaper changes
before and after handling food, especially poultry
poisoning can also be minimized by cleaning all utensils, cleaning
cooking or preparing surfaces, and cooking meat until it is cooked through and
no longer pink.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Usually there are no serious long-term effects if diarrhea in children is
effectively treated. In countries where access to intravenous fluids and
medication is limited, children may suffer from other diseases or diarrhea may
If the illness is caused by a serious infection or the child becomes extremely
dehydrated, there may be
more serious long-term effects. If a child becomes severely dehydrated, the
amount of fluid in the bloodstream decreases. This makes it difficult for the
bodily organs to get enough oxygen and nutrients. If this is severe enough,
this can cause death. Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death in
children around the world.
Diarrhea, especially in toddlers, can last a long time. If it is accompanied by
persistent loss of appetite, it can lead to nutritional
problems. This, however, is unusual. Diarrhea can sometimes cause temporary
problems digesting milk products, a condition known as lactose
intolerance. This usually resolves on its own. If a child is still
in diapers, diarrhea may cause severe diaper rash.
What are the risks to others?
Diarrhea caused by a virus or bacterial infection may be contagious. It is
important to wash hands well to prevent spreading germs. The elderly, young
children, or others who have weakened immune systems are at increased risk.
Diarrhea can cause more serious symptoms in these individuals.