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Bringing diarrhea treatment straight to your front door

Time and time again, families turn to DispatchHealth because our in-home treatment services offer a level of convenience that can’t be matched by most other medical providers. Once you’ve requested a visit by phone or through our app or website, you can get back to taking care of your sick child without having to worry about getting them dressed and out the door. Our mobile care team will arrive within just a few hours, and we’ll bring along almost all of the tools and technologies that you could expect to find in an ER. Once we’re done administering any necessary treatment, we’ll make sure to update your child’s pediatrician to maintain continuity of care. And best of all, our services cost about the same as a traditional urgent care visit—usually between $5 and $50 after insurance.

Diarrhea symptoms & when to seek treatment

Diarrhea can manifest in two different ways:

  • It can cause an increase in the frequency of a child’s bowel movements.
  • It can cause a child to have looser stools than they normally would (possibly containing blood).

In either case, this can lead to a sense of urgency in having to use the bathroom. Even children who have been potty-trained for quite some time may be fearful that they’ll have an accident if they can’t get to the bathroom in time.

Some of the other symptoms commonly associated with diarrhea in children include:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rectal pain
  • Weight loss

Although many cases of pediatric diarrhea will resolve on their own, it’s important to promptly seek professional care if your child:

  • Is younger than 6 months old
  • Has a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Is producing bloody or black stools
  • Is frequently vomiting
  • Is showing signs of dehydration (which might include excessive thirst, a dry mouth or dry lips, a lack of tears when crying, a dry diaper for at least three hours, sunken eyes or cheeks, a sunken soft spot on a baby’s head, sleepiness, and irritability)

What causes diarrhea in children?

Possible causes of diarrhea in kids will vary depending on whether the child has acute diarrhea or chronic diarrhea. Acute diarrhea (which lasts less than three weeks) is often caused by a bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection. This could be something as common as a cold or the flu. Children in daycare or school settings may be particularly vulnerable to acute diarrhea because they’re frequently exposed to viruses.

On the other hand, chronic diarrhea (which lasts more than three weeks) could potentially be caused by:

  • Drinking too many juice or sports drinks
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Other health conditions such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance), food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, and lactose intolerance

How to prevent diarrhea in children

Because acute diarrhea can result from an infection, one of the best things you can do to help your child avoid diarrhea is keep them from getting sick in the first place. That’s not always possible—let’s face it, sometimes kids will get a cold no matter how careful we are—but you can still take steps such as teaching them how to properly wash their hands and reminding them to not touch their face. And if your child hasn’t been vaccinated against rotavirus, consider having them get that vaccine, since rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in children. With regard to chronic diarrhea, you can limit your child’s intake of sugary drinks and any foods to which they may be sensitive.

If left untreated

If pediatric diarrhea is left untreated, it can lead to dehydration, which can in turn become a life-threatening condition if not promptly addressed. Get the care your child needs by requesting a visit from DispatchHealth today.

* Please note: For life-threatening and time-sensitive injuries and illnesses, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. DispatchHealth shouldn’t be used in a life-threatening emergency and doesn’t replace a primary care provider.