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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Diarrhea in Infants: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Diarrhea in Infants

Alternate Names : Infantile Diarrhea, Infant Diarrhea

Diarrhea in Infants | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Infant diarrhea is treated by replacing the fluid in the body. Usually this is done through oral feedings. But, if the infant is extremely dehydrated, it is done intravenously, by pumping fluid into the body through a vein.

Breast-feeding mothers should continue to breast-feed while the infant has diarrhea. Formula-fed infants can be treated best by using one of the commercially available rehydrating solutions, such as Pedialyte or Infalyte. Once the stool frequency decreases, or if the infant's appetite seems to improve, then the infant's usual formula feedings can be resumed.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

There are generally few side effects to the above treatments. If medications are needed for the underlying cause of the diarrhea, there may be side effects to the medications. These include further stomach upset or allergic reactions.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

A few days of diarrhea generally is not a cause for concern. The exception would be if the infant is not drinking enough fluid to compensate for the liquid lost in the diarrhea. If diarrhea continues despite treatment, the healthcare provider should be notified.

How is the condition monitored?

Most cases of diarrhea last three to five days. A healthcare provider should be called immediately if one of the following conditions applies:

  • behavior changes in the infant
  • blood or pus in the stool
  • decreased fluid intake or frequent diarrhea
  • decreased urination
  • diarrhea that lasts more than five days
  • the infant seems to be having abdominal pain
  • more that just a mild case of sickness
  • no tears when crying
  • persistent high fever
  • vomiting and the inability to keep fluids down
  • weight loss
  • Any other new or worsening symptoms should also be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Diarrhea in Infants: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Eric Berlin, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/06/01

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