When to Take a Toddler to the Doctor for Diarrhea

Toddler has diarrhea?

When we are bringing up a child we often spend our time deciding whether the medical problem we believe your child may have is serious enough for the intervention of a doctor. If your toddler has diarrhea, you should see how long the problem persists as many children fed by the breast of formula will experience the harmless effects of a loose stool over their first years. Knowing when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea can be a difficult question to answer positively. There are a few general rules you should know when deciding whether to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea.

Diarrhea or a loose stool?

Perhaps the most difficult question you are going to have to answer over the course of the first couple of years of your toddler’s life is what is diarrhea. You may believe your toddler has diarrhea when, in fact, they are only affected by a loose stool. If your toddler is breastfed it can make the decision of when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea more difficult to answer because of the consistency of these babies stool.

Breastfed babies and diarrhea

The issue of diarrhea is often difficult to spot in babies who have been breastfed throughout their life. Many toddlers are still feeding on breast milk alongside their daily intake of solid foods that can make it appear as though they are struggling with diarrhea when they are producing regular stools. A toddler still being fed with breast milk may continue to see a number of runny stools each day which are of a pale, yellow or green and are often runny.

Non-breastfed babies

Toddlers and babies who are not fed with breastmilk will usually produce a stool which can be a range of colors from brown to black and even red. A parent usually sees a pattern develop in their toddler’s stool and often spots a subtle change in the size, color, and consistency of the stool produced by their infant.

Spotting diarrhea

Your toddler may suddenly develop a change in their bathroom habits with more runny poop making its way out of the side of a diaper because of its consistency. There are a few signs of diarrhea that can be spotted with ease by a parent, including:

  • A strong, pungent smell
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration

When these symptoms are spotted you can usually spend a little time monitoring your toddler before deciding to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea. Most experts agree you should allow the first stages of the illness to run its course before deciding when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea.

The main reason for the period of examination when your toddler has diarrhea is that most cases of the condition run their course in a few hours to 24 hours. This can be a difficult time for you as a parent when you feel the moment has come when to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea.

The causes of diarrhea in toddlers

There are a number of reasons why your toddler has diarrhea, including various viruses, bacteria, and parasites. One of the most common causes of diarrhea is that of gastroenteritis which is often referred to as the “stomach flu” and usually runs its course in just a few hours of a couple of days. Another common virus which often causes outbreaks in childcare environments is rotavirus which passes easily between toddler.

When to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea is usually an important decision to take when your infant has been infected with some form of bacteria. If your toddler has diarrhea and you feel the cause is poisoning from some form of bacteria you should look to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea. Bacteria issues can include E.Coli and Salmonella causing major problems for a toddler.

You should not waver in the question of when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea when you believe parasites are to blame for the runny nature of a stool. Parasites can take many forms and often result in the issue of your toddler has diarrhea when they are passed on to another infant at childcare centers.

Dehydration when your toddler has diarrhea

The problem of diarrhea is a common one for parents like you who are trying to nurse their toddler through diarrhea. There is no question of when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea when they are showing any signs of dehydration are spotted in an infant. In many cases, a parent will notice their toddler has diarrhea but remain unaware of the issue of dehydration, which can be more difficult to manage than the root cause of diarrhea.

The symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • A lack of energy
  • Dry lips and inside of the mouth
  • Often too weak to stand

When to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea is a question you usually answer when you identify your toddler is not acting in the alert and the happy way they normally do. When your toddler has diarrhea you can usually accept the fact they will not be gaining enough vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and liquids. You should take toddler to doctor for diarrhea and dehydration if your toddler becomes too weak to stand or move and loses their usually alert nature.

When to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea?

If you begin to feel your toddler has diarrhea the time may not be right to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea. It may be hard to know exactly when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea but a few signs can help with this decision.

Call the doctor during office hours

Firstly, you may want to take toddler to doctor for diarrhea when you feel they have been suffering from the issue for three days or more. If your toddler is complaining of pain in their abdomen you should contact your doctor, which you should when your toddler has diarrhea and you have identified blood in their stool.

Call emergency responders

You should understand the signs and symptoms of dehydration which require the most important emergency response when you are dealing with the issue that your toddler has diarrhea. In general, the time has passed to ask when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea when they are suffering from the symptoms of dehydration. This is the most common cause of hospitalization in toddlers with diarrhea who do not receive enough fluids to keep their bodies working in the correct manner.

How to avoid diarrhea in toddlers

Unlike grownups, toddlers do not have the skills to understand the problem of diarrhea and the bacteria causing the issue. Although it is often difficult to do, there is less of a chance a toddler has diarrhea when they wash their hands well and regularly with the help of an adult. You can also avoid many of the problems caused by rotaviruses by asking your medical professional about the latest vaccines to help your infant stay healthy for longer. Another way of avoiding the common problem of asking when to take a toddler to the doctor for diarrhea is to wash all fruits and vegetables before serving them to your toddler when they are moving towards solid foods.