Diarrhoea in toddlers is quite common. Thankfully it’s relatively easy to take care of.
At a glance
Diarrhoea is often caused by mild illness but can also be due to food moving too quickly through the body
Wash hands often and practice good hygiene to stop diarrhoea from spreading
Give plenty of liquids to any little one suffering from diarrhoea
Try to avoid giving sugary drinks
Although your toddler is growing up fast, their digestive system is still getting used to this new world of food. So, it’s quite normal for occasional tummy troubles like diarrhoea to occur.
Symptoms of diarrhoea in toddlers
Frequent watery poo is a sign of diarrhoea and can be frustrating and uncomfortable for your toddler. In most cases, mild diarrhoea is caused by a viral or bacterial illness. However, there is also ‘Toddler Diarrhoea’, a common and non-contagious condition that may be brought on by the rapid transit of food through the gut.
How to stop diarrhoea in children or manage the symptoms
- Give your toddler plenty to drink to prevent dehydration. Water is best but give them enough of whichever fluids they will drink.
- Immediately after each bout of watery poo, try to give your toddler an extra drink of 100 – 200ml of fluid.
- Avoid sugary drinks, or drinks containing artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which may make your toddler’s diarrhoea worse.
- Check your child’s wee throughout the day – pale coloured wee is normal while much darker, strong smelling or cloudy wee could be a sign of dehydration.
- If you think your child is becoming dehydrated, speak to your local pharmacist or GP to ask about rehydration drinks suitable for children.
- Don’t give your toddler anti-diarrhoeal medicine unless recommended by your GP or another medical professional.
- Nurseries and childminders will be looking out for the wellbeing of the other children and staff, so they’ll expect you to wait for your child to be free from diarrhoea for 48 hours before you bring them back in.
If you’re ever concerned about your toddler’s diarrhoea, speak to your health visitor, public health nurse or GP for advice.