Diarrhea – Child

Supportive Management

(Note: Treating child at home is OK if the child experiences mild diarrhea)

  • Provide child with the usual foods and fluids he or she takes (e.g. breast milk, formula milk, fresh milk) if the child has good appetite and does not vomit. Continue with a regular diet, but give smaller portions until the child is completely well.
  • Replenish lost fluids and electrolytes by providing child:
    • Additional breastmilk (for infants and for those who continue to breastfeed)
    • Oral rehydration solution (ORS)
      • Follow doctor’s advice regarding how much, when, and what kind of ORS to give.
      • Do not make own ORS solution for child, unless doctor gives a recipe to follow.
    • Do not feed the child with any food that seemingly triggers the diarrhea.
    • Avoid giving the child plain water, fruit juice, sports drinks, carbonated beverages, and gelatin desserts as means to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
    • Unless ordered by the doctor, don’t let child take over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication.
    • Observe good hygiene to reduce possibility of spreading bacteria. Wash hands every after changing diapers.
    • Monitor the child for any changes in his or her symptoms.

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Herbal Medicine

  • Bayabas (Guava) Leaves Decoction
    • For diarrhea and stomach ache
    • The amount of guava leaves to be used corresponds to the age of the child the decoction is intended for. For a child aged 2-6, use either 1 ½ tablespoons of dried leaves or 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves; and for a child aged 7-12, use either 3 tablespoons of dried leaves or 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves. Boil the leaves in 2 glasses water for 15 minutes or until the water is halved. Strain. Divide the decoction in 4 doses, and take each dose every 2-3 hours.
  • Sambong Leaves
    • For relieving gas pain in children
    • Crush sambong leaves and add coconut oil or cooking oil. Apply on abdomen.


  • Consult doctor immediately if child experiences any of the following:
    • Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
    • Has had 3 or more loose bowel movements (if baby is less than a month old)
    • Has had more than 8 bowel movements in 8 hours
    • Fever
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Repeated vomiting
    • Refusal to drink fluids or can’t hold down fluids
    • Lethargy or irritability
    • Confusion or dizziness
    • Lack of urine (or small amount of dark yellow urine) for the past 8 hours in an infant
    • Lack of urine (or small amount of dark yellow urine) for the past 12 hours in an older child
    • No or few tears when crying
    • Dry mouth
    • Sunken eyes
    • Unconsciousness
    • Bloody stools
    • Recurring diarrhea