Frequently Asked Questions

Viral infection is the most common cause of diarrhea. It is often accompanied by vomiting but may occur in isolation. Viral diarrhea usually lasts 5-7 days and is almost always worse on the first two days of the illness.

Your child needs to be seen for:

  • Signs of dehydration including decreased urine output (less than every 8-10 hours), dry mucous membranes, lack of tears, or lethargy.
  • Blood in stool
  • Diarrhea persisting for > 1 week without complications
  • Profuse diarrhea or any other concerns

Home care advise for children > 1 year old:

  • Start Pedialyte or diluted Gatorade. Offer unlimited amounts unless the child is also vomiting (See section on Vomiting).
  • Avoid fruit juices and soft drinks as this can make the diarrhea worse
  • Starchy foods are best: bread, noodles, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, crackers, etc.
  • 2-6 ounces of yogurt twice a day can help restore healthy bacteria to the GI tract