Pediatrics Corner

Pediatrics Corner

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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

What causes diarrhea?

Most diarrhea and/or vomiting illnesses in children are caused by a virus in the gastro-intestinal tract that will usually improve in 3-5 days. This illness is contagious and your child may present with a fever, have decreased appetite, and/or abdominal cramps. Although there can be many causes of diarrhea, the treatment suggested here is appropriate for a short viral illness only.

When to see your doctor or warning signs

  1. If your child is less than 6 months old.
  2. Bloody stool
  3. You suspect your child ingested a poison (Call the Capital area poison control
  4. Frequent vomiting
  5. Decreased urination, less than 5 wet diapers in a day or no urine for 4 hours
  6. No tears with crying
  7. High fever (101.5 or more)
  8. Frequent diarrhea
  9. Dry or sticky appearing mouth
  10. Weight loss
  11. Extreme thirst or loss of thirst
  12. Abdominal pain that comes and goes, or is severe
  13. Child becomes lethargic or decreased in responsiveness
    1. Most children can continue a normal diet including formula or milk but should avoid any spicy foods. If your child is gassy or bloated call your provider to discuss diet changes.
    2. Monitor for any signs of dehydration - i.e. a slightly dry mouth, increased thirst, and slightly decreased urine output (one wet diaper or void in six hours). If mildly dehydrated start oral rehydration therapy (below)
    3. Some children are not able to tolerate cow's milk and this may be temporarily removed from the diet. Breastfeeding should continue.
    4. Start Oral rehydration therapy with a product such as Pedialyte. If your child is not vomiting, these fluids can be used in generous amounts until the child urinates normally again.
    5. As a general guide: 5 teaspoons per pound of oral rehydration therapy should be slowly given over four hours. For example, in a 20 pound child this would equal 100 teaspoons or 17 ounces. Once this is achieved and the child keeps it down, a bland diet may be attempted, you should continue to offer fluids. If your child is not tolerating this you should watch for warning signs and call your doctor.
    6. A bland diet consists of foods such as rice, bread, potatoes, lean meats, yogurt and non-acidic fruits and vegetables.
    7. Avoid sugary drinks such as apple, pear, or cherry juice along with Gatorade as the sugar content may actually prolong the diarrhea.

How to treat diarrhea and/vomiting

MILD – if only 1-2 episodes of vomiting or diarrhea per day

MODERATE-more episodes 3-7 episodes vomiting or diarrhea in a given day

SEVERE- 8 or more episodes in a day, or if your child has the warning signs from above he/she may need IV fluids in the emergency room. You should call your doctor at once.

DO NOT USE “Anti-diarrhea” medications in children.

We recommend you read the following from healthychildren.org

For vomiting and diarrhea

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/Symptom-Checker/Pages/Vomiting-With-Diarrhea.aspx

For diarrhea

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Diarrhea.aspx

For treating vomiting

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Treating-Vomiting.aspx

For drinks to prevent dehydration in a vomiting child

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Drinks-to-Prevent-Dehydration-in-a-Vomiting-Child.aspx