Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger
Do not allow your child to drink untreated or unfiltered water from a lake or stream or unpasteurized milk. Untreated water and unpasteurized milk are sources for viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, such as Reference Giardia lamblia Opens New Window. Avoid having your child brush his or her teeth with untreated water. Even a small amount of untreated water can contain enough parasites, virus, and bacteria to cause diarrhea.
Diarrhea can spread because of poor hygiene.
- Practice good Reference hand-washing.
- Be sure to wash your hands and your child's hands after each diaper change or trip to the bathroom.
- Teach your child to wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and before every meal.
- Do not place soiled diapers on surfaces that are used to prepare or serve food.
- If your child attends school or day care, keep your child at home until your doctor has determined that his or her diarrhea can't be passed to others (is not infectious).
Food poisoning is a common cause of diarrhea in children and adults. Most cases of food poisoning at home may be prevented by taking a few Reference precautions when preparing and storing food. Perishable foods, such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, and milk products, should be treated with extra care. Also, precautions should be taken if you are pregnant, you have an Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window or a chronic illness, or you are preparing foods for other high-risk groups, such as young children or older people.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following steps to prevent food poisoning:
- Reference Prepare foods safely.
- Reference Shop safely.
- Reference Cook foods safely.
- Reference Store foods safely.
- Reference Follow labels on food packaging.
- Reference Serve foods safely.
- Reference When in doubt, throw it out.
Many counties in the United States have extension services listed in the phone book. These services can answer your questions about safe home canning and food preparation.
When you travel in wilderness areas or to other countries of the world, it is common to get Reference traveler's diarrhea from food or water because the methods of food preparation are different.
Rotavirus vaccine (What is a Reference PDF Opens New Window document?) helps protect babies and young children from getting a Reference rotavirus infection Opens New Window, which can cause diarrhea and Reference dehydration Opens New Window. Talk to your child's doctor about this vaccine for your child.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine