Diarrhea in Infants
Alternate Names : Infantile Diarrhea, Infant Diarrhea
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
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
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
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
Any other new or worsening symptoms should also be
reported to the healthcare provider.