As a parent, your child suffering from diarrhea can be a scary experience. Diarrhea increases the risk of dehydration in children, and watching them become fatigued and uncomfortable can make you feel powerless. To help you prevent diarrhea from occurring, it’s helpful to understand some of the most common causes of diarrhea in children. Read on to learn five common causes of diarrhea in children, and some simple ways you can help your child recover more quickly.
Often considered a healthy choice for kids, studies show that fruit juice is directly linked to diarrhea in children, especially “toddler’s diarrhea.” By causing an unnatural influx of unabsorbable carbohydrates, fruit juices can lead to diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Instead, offer your child pure water, unsweetened coconut water or oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte to keep them well hydrated and maintain a healthy electrolyte balance.
High sugar foods, particularly high fructose foods, are a common cause of diarrhea in children. Many people (both children and adults) have some level of fructose intolerance, and it doesn’t help that many drinks and foods are sweetened with large quantities of fructose.
Foods high in fructose include fruit juice, processed foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (think sugary cereals, snack bars, cookies, etc.) and honey. It’s best to skip processed and packaged foods and offer whole, nourishing foods to both prevent and support symptoms of diarrhea in children.
If your child’s diarrhea is chronic (occurring frequently and on an ongoing basis), it’s possible a food allergy or sensitivity is the underlying culprit. If you suspect there are specific foods causing your child’s diarrhea, try cutting out those foods for a month to see if symptoms improve. If they do, reintroduce the foods one at a time, as this can help you pinpoint the exact problem foods that are causing diarrhea.
It’s more common than you might think that a child’s diarrhea is linked to hidden sources of stress. Just like adults, a child’s brain and gut are intricately connected, and stress and anxiety can be a major cause of diarrhea and other digestive upset.
If you suspect your child’s diarrhea is being brought on by stress or anxiety, check in with their teachers or other adults in his or her life that can provide insight into stressful social or academic challenges they might be encountering.
Mild diarrhea can happen in children after certain vaccinations but should subside on its own within 24-48 hours. If your child experiences diarrhea after a vaccination, be sure to offer plenty of liquids and allow for rest if your child seems fatigued. If your child is experiencing extreme diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for more than a day or two, it’s best to consult with your doctor.
How to Help Relieve Diarrhea
In addition to avoiding sugar, problem foods, stress and keeping your child well hydrated, you can help combat occasional diarrhea in children with DiaResQ. DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that provides beneficial nutrients and immune factors that work with your child’s body to help restore normal intestinal function and relieve diarrhea. It is safe for children as young as one year and is clinically demonstrated to resolve most cases of pediatric diarrhea on day one of use.
And last but not least, trust your gut and take your child to the doctor if you feel like there is something more serious causing your child’s diarrhea. While most cases of diarrhea in children are not cause for significant concern, if a bout lasts beyond one day in toddlers and small children, it’s best to check in with their doctor.