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can be caused by a number of things, ranging from a change in diet to an intestinal infection. Any of the following can cause diarrhea in babies:
1) infection caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite
2) food allergy
or sensitivity to medicines
3) drinking too much fruit juice
Babies can pick up the bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea through contact with contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces and then placing hands into mouths.
Frequent hand washing is important to prevent diarrhea, especially before and after eating, and after using the bathroom. Keep bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean and maintain safe food handling.
Diarrhea can affect the baby's normal balance of water and salts (electrolytes). When too much water and electrolytes are lost in diarrhea, babies can become dehydrated. Dehydration
can happen very quickly in babies -- within a day or two after the diarrhea starts.
Look for these signs of dehydration in your infant:
- urinating less often than usual (fewer wet diapers)
- signs of thirst
- dry mouth
- no tears when crying
- unusual drowsiness
- sunken soft spots on the top of the baby's head
- skin that isn't as elastic as usual (doesn't spring back when gently pinched and released)
Call your pediatrician
or go to the nearest emergency room if you see any of the signs of dehydration listed above, or if:
of 101.4 degrees F or higher
- Abdominal pain
- You notice blood or pus in the baby's stools, or the stools are black, white, or red
- Your baby is very lethargic or is vomiting
If your child is on solid foods, your doctor might recommend switching to bland, starchy foods like strained bananas, applesauce, and rice cereal until the diarrhea stops.
Diarrhea that's caused by a viral or bacterial infection is very contagious. Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you change your baby's diaper to prevent the infection from spreading. Keep the diaper-changing area clean and disinfected.
In all liklihood, your child has picked up a virus. Unfortunately, only the passage of time will be the main predicator of when he will get better. I sympathize with you. Sick children while on vacation is not ideal for the child or the parents.