How to Stop Diarrhea in a 2-Year-Old Child
Diarrhea is common in young children and can have many causes, including viral and bacterial infections that are easily spread by kids. Most cases of diarrhea are not serious, but they do need to run their course. Unfortunately, this can take up to a week, depending on the cause. The good news is that most kids will recover fine on their own and can continue eating as normal, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Offer your child clear fluids throughout the day, to keep him hydrated despite the fluid loss from the diarrhea. Water is a good choice, but you can also try to get him to eat some broth.
Avoid giving your child fruit juices such as apple juice. Although many kids like the taste of fruit juices, the sugars in fruit can make diarrhea worse, according to the MayoClinic website 4.
Allow your child to eat as much or as little as she wants. Start by offering soft, low-fiber foods, and then gradually move to harder foods with more fiber. Good choices include rice, plain crackers and chicken.
Home Remedies for a Baby With Diarrhea
Change dirty diapers as necessary. Because of the increase in bowel movements when a child has diarrhea, the skin on the bottom might become irritated and inflamed. Wipe the diaper area thoroughly, and apply diaper rash cream as needed.
Contact your child's pediatrician if your notice blood in his stool or if his fever is greater than 102 degrees F.
Watch for signs of dehydration, which include dry diapers or no urinating for three or more hours, crying without tears, dry tongue and mouth, and skin that does not flatten when pinched, according to the National Digestive Disorders Information Clearinghouse 2. If your child appears to be dehydrated, contact your pediatrician immediately.
If your child wants to eat, try offering smaller amounts of food more frequently throughout the day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A child with mild to moderate diarrhea can still drink milk. If she gets bloated or develops abdominal pain, ask your pediatrician if you should avoid milk until the episode passes.
If diarrhea persists for several days, check with your pediatrician about using electrolyte solutions to help your child stay hydrated.
Do not give your 2-year-old anti-diarrhea medications unless your pediatrician has specifically instructed you to do so, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Home Remedies for a Baby With Diarrhea
Home Remedies for Diarrhea in 1 Year Old
What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
List of Bland Foods for a Child With Diarrhea
Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
The Best Food for Diarrhea
How to Treat Diarrhea in a Four Year Old
How to Get a Child to Take Charcoal Tablets
High-Calorie Snacks for Kids
- American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.org: Diarrhea
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearninghouse: Diarrhea
- KidsHealth: Diarrhea
- MayoClinic: Diarrhea
- Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations - 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines - health.gov. Health.gov. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/. Published 2015.
- Hatchette TF, Farina D. Infectious diarrhea: when to test and when to treat. CMAJ. 2011;183(3):339-44. doi:10.1503/cmaj.091495
- Robert Steffen, Klaus Gyr, Diet in the Treatment of Diarrhea: From Tradition to Evidence, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 39, Issue 4, 15 August 2004, Pages 472–473, doi:10.1086/422328
- Mäkinen KK. Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals. Int J Dent. 2016;2016:5967907. doi:10.1155/2016/5967907
- Zodpey S, Deshpande S, Ughade S, Hinge A, Shrikhande S. Risk factors for development of dehydration in children aged under five who have acute watery diarrhoea. Public Health. 1998;112(4):233-236. doi:10.1016/s0033-3506(98)00238-8
- Gould M, Sellin JH. Diabetic diarrhea. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2009;11(5):354-9.
- Nyachuba DG. Foodborne illness: is it on the rise? Nutr Rev. 2010;68(5):257-69. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00286.x
- Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations - 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines - health.gov. Health.gov. Published 2015.
- Barr W, Smith A. Acute Diarrhea in Adults. American Family Physician. 2014;89(3):180-189.
- Hartman S, Brown E, Loomis E, Holly Ann Russell. Gastroenteritis in Children. American Family Physician. 2019;99(3):159-165.
- Murao S, Hosokawa H. Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonist for Treatment of Severe Diabetic Diarrhea. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(3):e38-e38. doi:10.2337/dc09-2131
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Diarrhea. Published July 2019.
- Steffen R, Gyr K. Diet in the Treatment of Diarrhea: From Tradition to Evidence. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004;39(4):472-473. doi:10.1086/422328
Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.