Family Health Guide

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Diarrhea: Symptoms

In infants, stools that become so loose they sink into the diaper are a telltale sign of diarrhea. Call the doctor anytime a baby younger than 3 months has diarrhea. Dehydration is biggest risk for kids of all ages, so call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs along with diarrhea:

-Dry mouth

-Lack of tears when crying

-Decreased urination (infants should urinate every four to six hours, older children every six to eight)


-Weakness, decreased activity, excessive sleepiness

-A rapid heart rate (felt by putting your hand on the front of the chest), or rapid breathing

-A sunken soft spot in infants

In addition, call the doctor is you see any of these symptoms, which could be signs of an infection or more serious condition:

-Fever (100.4 or more in infants 3 months or younger, 101.1 or more in older kids)

-A rash on the body

-Blood-tinged stools

-Increasing abdominal pain


-If the condition lasts longer than 2 days (for kids over 3 months