Diarrhea in kindergarten children (diarrhea)

How do I detect diarrhea in my kindergarten child?

That depends on how your child's bowel movements normally look. Some children have several bowel movements a day, while others can do without bowel movements for several days. A one-time, softer chair is not a cause for concern, but if the rhythm of your child's bowel movement changes - d. H. if it has more bowel movements and it is softer or watery, then it may be diarrhea (NHS Choices December 2005).

Although a severe case of diarrhea can be alarming, you can assume that most cases are harmless and do not present a serious health problem to your kindergartener unless your child is dehydrated (dehydrated). The smaller the child, the greater the risk of dehydration, because even more fluid is stored outside the cells, which is lost faster.

If your child is otherwise healthy and drinks enough fluids, diarrhea will usually be over after several days (NICE 2008).

What causes diarrhea in my child?

Diarrhea can have many triggers, a viral or bacterial infection as well as a parasite, antibiotic treatment or something your child has eaten (NICE 2007).

Viral Infections

A variety of viruses, including rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, and the flu virus, can cause diarrhea, including vomiting, stomach pain, fever, chills, and painful discomfort.

Bacterial infections

Bacteria such as Salmonella, Staphylococci, Campylobacter, Yersinia or E. coli can cause diarrhea. If your kindergarten child suffers from a bacterial infection, it will have severe diarrhea, accompanied by muscle cramps, blood in the stool and fever (with or without vomiting).

Some bacterial infections disappear on their own, while others, such as those caused by coliforms that are found in non-cooked meat and other foods, can cause very serious illnesses. So if your kindergartner has the symptoms described above, take it to the doctor (CKS January 2007a). There it is examined and, if necessary, a stool sample taken to determine a bacterial disease.

Ear Infections

In some cases, an ear infection (viral or bacterial) can be the cause of diarrhea. Your child may experience nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.This may also be related to a cold that has just been put through. Your pediatrician can determine this very quickly. The treatment is often in love, care and a little pain relief. Only rarely does your child need to take antibiotics.


Parasitic infections can also cause diarrhea. Lambliasis giardiasis is triggered, for example, by a parasite that nests in the small intestine (NHS Choices November 2007). If your kindergarten child has a parasitic infection, it may have diarrhea or sluggish bowel movements, bloating, nausea and / or cramps. These infections can spread very easily in kindergarten groups, etc., but are often discovered late. Treatment requires special medication, so you need to see your pediatrician.


If your child has diarrhea during or after treatment with antibiotics, it could in rare cases be related to this drug (CKS May 2007). The reason: Antibiotics, along with the bacteria against which they are used, often kill beneficial bacteria in the gut. Talk to your doctor about alternatives and home remedies, but do not stop treatment without consulting your doctor!

Fruit juices

Too much juice, especially fruit juices that contain sorbitol (sugar alcohol) and high levels of fructose (fructose), or too many sweetened drinks can confuse your child's digestive system and cause mild bowel movements. If you reduce the amount of juice and the number of sweetened drinks, the problem should be solved in about a week. If your child wants to drink juice, give him spritzer (diluted with water) and only during meals.

Food Allergies

A food allergy (in which the immune system responds to actually harmless proteins from food - the oral allergy syndrome or OAS) can trigger mild to severe reactions. The reaction takes place immediately or within a few hours. Symptoms include diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain and blood in the stool. In worse cases, an allergy can cause rash, swelling and respiratory problems (CKS April 2007). Call an ambulance immediately if your child has trouble breathing or swelling his face and lips.

Milk protein is the most common allergen (allergy-causing substance). Others are eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, nuts, fish or shellfish. If you suspect that your child has an allergic reaction to a food, contact the doctor as soon as possible.

Food Intolerance

Unlike a food allergy, food intolerance or intolerance is an abnormal reaction affecting not the immune system. An example is lactose intolerance. If your kindergarten child has those, that means his body does not produce enough lactase.Lactase is the body's own enzyme that cleaves lactose, the sugar in cows' milk and other dairy products, thus enabling the digestion of these products.

If the undigested lactose remains in the gut, it can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and flatulence. These symptoms occur about half an hour to two hours after consuming dairy products.

If your child has severe diarrhea, it may temporarily produce too little lactase and show signs of lactose intolerance for a week or two.

Gluten intolerance

A cause of diarrhea may also be gluten intolerance (celiac disease). The symptoms may include: diarrhea, failure to thrive, iron deficiency, growth disorder and a distended abdomen.


If your child is suffering from diarrhea and vomiting and you suspect something has been swallowed, such as a drug, chemical or plant, seek emergency attention immediately. Other signs of poisoning include breathlessness, fatigue, febrile seizures, and unconsciousness. Further information can be obtained from the Information Center against Poisoning, University Hospital Bonn, whose 24-hour hotline can be reached at 0228 - 19240.

How do I treat my child's diarrhea?

Your first step should be to give the child enough fluid to prevent dehydration (NICE 2008). If your child does not suffer from vomiting, it is not a problem to give him enough water or well-diluted fruit juices (at most 1 part juice to 10 parts water).

If your child can not keep the fluid or if the diarrhea is severe (every two hours or more) tell your pediatrician. This can prescribe a child-friendly electrolyte solution. These solutions are available in pharmacies and also have pleasant flavors for children.

Do not give sweetened beverages such as sodas, sports drinks or undiluted fruit juices. All of these liquids contain sugar, which pulls water into the intestine, which only makes diarrhea worse (CKS January 2007a).

Experts today recommend keeping a child with diarrhea on the move and not keeping it away from solid food. If your child wants something to eat, offer him soups and high-hydrate foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. As soon as the diarrhea is over, you can quickly switch from ""light food"" to normal food (NICE 2008).

If your sick preschooler refuses to eat, you do not have to worry. As long as there is enough fluid, it will not be a problem if the appetite returns in a day or two (CKS January 2007).

Studies have shown that living bacterial cultures, such as in yoghurt, are a safe and effective way to minimize the duration and severity of diarrhea (CKS January 2007a).This is a simple method of treatment, especially if your child likes yogurt. When shopping, look for yogurt varieties with live cultures.

If your child feels unwell during a diarrheal attack, they need extra care. Keep his butt clean. If your child does not need a diaper, have enough underwear ready to change, as your child will now often fail to get to the toilet in time. If necessary, you will return to diapers for the duration of the illness. When wrapping, be tender and caring and use enough cream as your child's butt will be sore and red from diarrhea.

Can I give my child a diarrhea drug for adults?

No, you should not give your kindergartner any medications your doctor did not prescribe. Other medicines can be dangerous for your child.

When should I ask the doctor for advice?

If your child has persistent soft or watery stools for more than two days, you should go to or contact your pediatrician (NHS Direct 2008).

Likewise, if your child has diarrhea and any of the following symptoms:

  • frequent vomiting
  • signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or lips and lack of urination (less than every 6 hours)
  • blood Chair or Black Chair
  • High Fever 39 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Apathy, Indifference
  • Lashes

Even if you have other concerns about your child's diarrhea or health, consult your pediatrician on.

How can I protect my child from infectious diarrhea?

Regular hand washing is the best protection because the micro-organisms easily get from the hand to the mouth (NICE 2008). For example, your child may contract a diarrhea infection by putting their fingers in their mouths after touching toys or other objects that have been contaminated with bacteria by the unwashed fingers of an infected child.

Teach your child to wash their hands with warm soap and water each time before eating and after visiting the toilet. Also often wash your own hands, especially before preparing food and after wrapping or after using the toilet (NICE 2008).


CKS. January 2007. Otitis media - acute. Clinical Knowledge Summaries Service, Clinical Topic. www. cks. library. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

CKS. January 2007a. gastroenteritis. Clinical Knowledge Summaries Service, Clinical Topic. www. cks. library. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

CKS. May 2007. Common cold. Clinical Knowledge Summaries Service, Clinical Topic. www. cks. library. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

CKS. April 2007. Urticaria. Clinical Knowledge Summaries Service, Clinical Topic.www. cks. library. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

NHS Choices. December 2005. Diarrhea. NHS Choices, Health Encyclopedia. www. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

NHS Choices. November 2007. Giardiasis. NHS Choices, Health Encyclopedia. www. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

NHS Choices. August 2007. Lactose intolerance. NHS Choices, Health Encyclopedia. www. nhs. uk [as of November 2009]

NICE 2007. Management of acute diarrheal and vomiting due to gastroenteritis in children under 5. National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. www. nice. org. uk [as of November 2009]

NICE 2008. Management of acute diarrheal and vomiting due to gastroenteritis in children under 5. National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. www. nice. org. uk [as of November 2009]

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