Conditions + Treatments

Treatments for Diarrhea in Children

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Contact the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

What is the proposed diarrhea treatment for kids?

Specific treatment for diarrhea will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • The expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment usually involves replacing lost fluids. Antibiotics may be prescribed when bacterial infections are the cause.

To replace the body fluids that are lost with diarrhea, children should drink fluids liberally. If they are dehydrated, a glucose-electrolyte solution (for example, Pedialyte or Infalyte) should be given to help the body absorb fluid more easily. These fluids have the right balance of water, sugar and salts, and some are available as popsicles. 

Additional hydration considerations for treating diarrhea include:

  • Avoid juice or soda because these drinks may make diarrhea worse. 
  • Too much plain water at any age can be dangerous. 
  • Do not give plain water to infants. 
  • If you are bottle-feeding or breastfeeding your child, continue to do so.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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