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Toddler Diarrhea

As your child develops, they often become eager to investigate their home surroundings. If you use day care services, your child will likely explore there as well. The child also welcomes the opportunity to visit new and different settings such as the local park or playground and neighbors’ or friends’ play areas. These factors, as well as others, can encourage the appearance of toddler diarrhea as your child begins to interact with other children that may have a virus or other illness with diarrhea as a symptom.

Infectious Agents Can Cause Diarrhea

Two specific parasites have been listed among the causes for diarrhea. Both of these parasites are known to “visit” a number of different day care facilities.

One such parasite lives in unclean water. If your pet drinks such water, it may carry the parasite in its intestinal tract. If your child interacts with that pet, he or she can become infected and also carry the parasite to other environments. As a result, many children at daycare centers and other public places might come down with Giardiasis—a type of diarrhea caused by a parasitic infection.

Cryptosporidium is another parasite found in pets and wild and farm animals. A toddler that interacts with an animal at any time could come into contact with cryptosporidium and then develop diarrhea.

Nonetheless, not all cases of toddler diarrhea are caused by harmful microorganisms. Rotavirus is a viral infection that can also cause diarrhea in children of all ages. The spread of rotavirus can take place anywhere people congregate.

When their diarrhea is caused by rotavirus, your child will typically exhibit multiple symptoms. In addition to diarrhea, your child may complain of stomach cramps and may carry a low fever and become nauseous. Such vomiting obviously increases your concern about preventing possible dehydration.

How Can You Avoid Parasites?

A healthy toddler might relish the chance to go to a favorite restaurant. Of course, kids don’t know about things like health inspections and food poisoning that is often traced to restaurants not maintaining proper handling of food items. If your toddler eats undercooked meat, they will in all likelihood develop toddler diarrhea from ingesting harmful bacteria.

Just as with parasites, a case of toddler diarrhea caused by bacteria may necessitate a visit to a pediatrician, but how do you know when this situation has developed? You can watch for certain telltale signs like abdominal cramps, fever, blood in their bowel movement, and vomiting. Your child may be in danger of becoming dehydrated from fluid loss.

The threat of dehydration ranks as a leading concern for all parents when their child is suffering from toddler diarrhea. Diarrhea causes the loss of important electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, and calcium) because it can lead to dehydration.

Preventing Dehydration Caused by Toddler Diarrhea

A dehydrated toddler will feel weak, tired, and depressed. Your toddler might become quite frustrated if he or she is potty training and then experiences a bout of diarrhea. Besides interfering with the child’s best efforts, diarrhea can provide a great deal of frustration for adults knowing every activity may be interrupted by an “emergency” trip to the nearest bathroom.

Not all cases of diarrhea are caused by an infectious agent. Often, laboratory tests show no trace of bacteria or parasites. You may find it difficult to understand how there could be no detectable cause for toddler diarrhea.

What to Feed a Toddler with Diarrhea

There are times when dietary changes can help a child recover from diarrhea. Parents must study carefully which foods their child is eating. For example, you might want to review how much liquid your child is consuming daily. Does your child normally drink large amounts of fruit juice? For your information, much of the “juice” in these beverages contains sorbitol, a substance also found in prunes. It is a “home remedy” to eat prunes to encourage increased bowel movements and the sorbitol is one of the agents promoting this eliminatory enhancement.

Avoid Fruit Juices and Sugary Drinks

Anyway, you should probably not give your child fruit juice when he or she has diarrhea since it may worsen the effect. In fact, any sugary drink is bad for a child with diarrhea. The body responds to that sugar by increasing the amount of water in the digestive tract and that will just aggravate the condition.

When a child has diarrhea, the child’s watery stool indicates a very rapid movement of waste through the intestinal tract. That rapid movement prevents the complete absorption of nutrients. This fact explains a child suffering from toddler diarrhea will lose weight.

Add More Fiber and Organic Foods

It’s best to feed your child plenty of high fiber such as organic or locally grown beans, bread, cereals, and fruit. Raw vegetables are excellent for providing fiber and they also ensure you and your family receive the most nutrients from your food. Give your child plenty of purified water to drink instead of fruit juices and punches and caffeinated colas.

For healthful snacks, give your toddler fresh fruits instead of chips or processed items like corn dogs, French fries, fish sticks, etc. Lastly, avoid sweets—you could be unintentionally setting up a patter for diabetes later in your child’s life. Don’t forget—wash your hands after every diaper change and before and after handling food while cooking. Teach your child the importance of good hygiene as this will instill a lifelong habit of self-protective behavior.

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