Medical Q&As

Diarrhoea

My one-year-old child has diarrhoea but is not getting sick. He is eating okay but he is teething hard. Is the diarrhoea due to his teething or should I bring him to the doctor?

You describe a scenario where your child has two problems; teething and diarrhoea. You will get conflicting opinions on whether or not teething can cause diarrhoea however the most important symptom you mention is the diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can cause dehydration even in the absence of vomiting. The most important thing for you to do is to ensure that your child is drinking plenty of water. There are several different forms of salt and sugar sachets available from your chemist, which can be added to the water. These sachets ensure that the salts and water that are being lost from the body through diarrhoea are being replaced. Ideally your child should only be taking fluids but it is very difficult to achieve this with a small child who is hungry and doesn’t understand why you won’t give solid food. Try to restrict milk, if you can, because the particular natural sugar in the milk, which is known as lactose, can contribute to diarrhoea. Be very careful with your own hand hygiene especially after cleaning the child because you could re-infect the child or possibly develop diarrhoea yourself. If you are in any doubt about your child’s condition you should visit your GP.