(Please consult with your physician if your child has diarrhea. It can be very dangerous if they get dehydrated. This is just a general discussion. Do not treat your child based on this discussion.)
I have had a very sick child in my house for the last 24 hours with a fever and very upset stomach so I have diarrhea and how to treat it on the brain. (We had to cancel our swimming lessons for the week. No showing up at the pool with diarrhea!)
Over the course of three children the recommendations of how to treat diarrhea have changed. It used to be that it was deemed OK to give the kids some children’s Imodium or Kaopectate to help bind up their stomachs when they had a stomach virus.
However, somewhere around my second child, the nurses on the hotline for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta started advising to absolutely NOT give any type of medication to stop diarrhea in children.
Now I understand and agree that if it is food poisoning that you have to get that stuff out of your system or you’re not going to feel better.
But it just doesn’t make sense to me that letting poop run out of you for days is going to help your body fight the virus faster. They usually tell you your body’s immune system has to create and send out anti-viral material to fight off a cold virus so why would a stomach virus be different? So until that happens how is pooping all day going to fight the virus? (Any doctors want to explain this to us?)
My first pediatrician was solidly in the house of stop the diarrhea and don’t make the child suffer needlessly. My new pediatrician is the let it run house.
Now the phone nurse at her office did give me slightly different info today. She asked if the child had already had 10 poops (my word, not hers) and I said yes. And she said because of that and because of the child’s age they were OK for me to give 1 and only 1 Imodium, which I quickly did. The nurse said not to repeat it because then the child would get constipated. (At this point the poor child would love that!)
So that was slightly different info than what I had been told before.
So what do you usually follow when your child has diarrhea? Which theory do you think when it comes to stomach viruses? Any doctors out there that want to explain it to us?