Also: Loose stool

For the safety of your family, this information is intended for use by North Seattle Pediatrics patients exclusively.

Diarrhea is a common childhood condition usually caused by an intestinal virus. Frequent loose or watery stools may occur, accompanied by low-grade fever.

If your child is otherwise well, taking fluids without vomiting, and urinating at least once every eight hours, it is acceptable practice to continue feeding the child’s usual diet and expect the diarrhea to resolve in 3-4 days. In the toddler or older child it may be helpful to eliminate milk and other dairy products (which contain lactose) from the diet for a day or two. Keep in mind that there is no effective safe medicine to treat diarrhea in children. Extra fluids and diet therapy work best.

If diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, please consult that topic on this site. If you are concerned that your child may be dehydrated please consult that topic or call our office at 206-368-6080.

Call us now at 206-368-6080 if your child:

  • has severe abdominal pain
  • has blood in the stool
  • appears very ill or dehydrated

Call during office hours if your child:

  • has loss of bowel control
  • has a fever above 102° F or chills