When your toddler has diarrhea, it places stress on your entire family, it’s worrisome, and can be an inconvenience. However, if you take the following steps, your toddler’s diarrhea will likely clear up quickly, and you can get back to normal.
Why Does My Toddler Have Diarrhea?
Some of the most common causes of toddler diarrhea include food sensitivities, a diet high in sugar (hint: fruit juice is a big culprit), or an unwanted intruder aka one of the many germs your little one is exposed to daily. If your toddler is experiencing diarrhea and also exhibiting signs of dehydration such as decreased urination, extremely low energy or weakness, or crying without tear production, a visit to your pediatrician is in order. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor’s visit include bloody, black or tarry stool, and/or a fever above 102 degrees.
When to Call the Doctor
First and foremost, be sure you know when to call your healthcare provider, as toddlers can become dehydrated quickly. Signs of dehydration in children include crying without the production of tears, less frequent or no urination, dry skin and lips, weakness, and low energy.
If these symptoms are present or if you notice bloody, black, or tarry stool and a fever over 102 degrees, call your doctor right away.
What’s Causing my Toddler’s Diarrhea?
Toddler diarrhea is common and can be caused by food reactions, diets low in fiber and high in sugar (fruit juice is a major culprit), and a lot of physical activity (normal, but linked with looser stools).
How to Help Your Toddler with Diarrhea
Try probiotic-rich foods or a supplement for your toddler to promote balanced gut bacteria. Fermented foods like plain yogurt, kefir, and are great options.
Offer Children’s DiaResQ to your toddler to speed diarrhea relief. DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that provides beneficial nutrients to quickly restore intestinal health and function. It is safe for children as young as one year.
Food to Offer
Offering your young child the right foods is an easy, at-home step you can take to support their symptoms and speed up recovery. Much like older children and adults, toddlers need bland, easy-to-digest foods when they have diarrhea. They might not be interested in eating much at all, which is a normal response to digestive upset and you certainly don’t need to force them to eat. Their little bodies are wise beyond their years and often know when food is not needed. The key is to offer simple foods that are high in nutrients.
Your toddler might have a low appetite while experiencing and recovering from diarrhea. This is normal, so no need to rush them back to full meals before they’re ready. Offer nutritious options like homemade broth and smoothies to sneak important nutrients into their diet.
Consider foods that are:
- Low in fat
- Low in insoluble fiber (which can be irritating to the intestines and stomach)
- Bland (won’t cause queasiness)
- That both hydrate and replace lost electrolytes
Food to Avoid
Fruit juice is not recommended for toddlers with diarrhea due to its high fructose content, which can further irritate the digestive system. It’s best to stick to pure water and unsweetened coconut water to keep your child hydrated. Foods that are overly fatty, greasy or spicy could also worsen diarrhea, so it’s best to avoid these as well.
You may also consider keeping extra support on hand, such as DiaResQ, a food for special dietary use that can help rapidly restore normal intestinal function and soothe your child’s diarrhea. A unique combination of nutrients and immune factors, DiaResQ helps support the body during diarrhea and is safe for children as young as one.
Diarrhea in toddlers can be scary for parents, but usually, it is nothing to worry about. Follow these guidelines to support your toddler’s health and get them back on track as fast as possible. If your toddler seems to have diarrhea frequently, an undiagnosed food sensitivity could be the cause. If you suspect a food sensitivity, work with your pediatrician or a nutritionist to undergo food allergy testing and/or an elimination diet.