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HiPP's A-Z of pregnancy & child health

The A-Z contains information on many aspects of pregnancy
and child health. It is arranged alphabetically so you can find what you are looking for with ease. If you are at all concerned about your health or your child’s health, please consult your health professional.

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Babies often have runny motions (particularly if they are breastfed) and this is quite normal. Diarrhoea is when the motions are abnormally runny or frequent. Diarrhoea together with vomiting is called gastroenteritis. If diarrhoea or gastroenteritis continues for more than a few hours, the baby can lose too much fluid from the body and may become dehydrated. To prevent or treat dehydration, babies need extra fluids.

For breastfed babies with diarrhoea, feed them more often and drink more fluids yourself. For bottle fed babies, continue with normal feeds and give extra drinks of cooled boiled water. If a baby is unable to keep breastmilk or formula milk down, if the child is under 12 months, or if the diarrhoea persists, medical advice should be sought.

For older babies, toddlers and children, give plenty of fluids - water or well-diluted fruit juice and see the doctor if the diarrhoea persists.

Some children between the ages of 1 and 5 pass frequent, smelly, loose stools with mucus or bits of vegetables in them. Usually these children are otherwise healthy and growing well. This type of diarrhoea is known as 'toddler diarrhoea'.

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