Toddler’s diarrhea occurs due to a relative immaturity of the intestinal tract of young children. Relatively speaking, sugars and some fluid get poorly absorbed. The stools often contain undigested food particles (carrots and corn being the most commonly noticed). The key differentiating factor that sets toddler’s diarrhea apart from other causes of diarrhea at this age is that except for loose stools, there are no other symptoms. There is no malabsorption of nutrients, so children with toddler’s diarrhea have normal growth and weight gain. Otherwise, they are perfectly healthy. There won’t be anything abnormal found during their physical exam. Tests are not generally needed, because those, too, will be normal.
Even though toddler’s diarrhea resolves on its own, I often tell families to follow the “4 Fs” as a guide to treatment:
When your child is hospitalized, it’s understandable that family and friends will want to visit. This is often a help to both the patient and the parent at the bedside. To maximize the benefit of this support, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Visiting hours: Check with your nurse for the visiting hours and let your nurse know when you are able to visit. If there are extenuating circumstances for your family’s situation (e.g., a parent works night or swing shift and can only visit before or after), let the nursing staff know.
A recent consensus statement written by international pediatric nutrition experts has recommended that infants and young children avoid rice-based drinks. This is due to the fact that some types of rice contain large concentrations of inorganic arsenic, a first-level carcinogen. There is no safe level of intake, because any exposure is risky. The longer the exposure to inorganic arsenic, the more toxic its effects.
The newly published report reminds us that rice and derived products such as starch, flour and syrup are used to fortify different foods, including drinks, purees, and snacks. These are foods often fed to infants and young children. Since most of the inorganic arsenic in rice is concentrated in the outer bran layers, the report also highlights that potentially, the most harmful type of exposure is that which comes from products manufactured from brown rice.
To reduce the harmful effects from arsenic exposure in rice-based foods, experts recommend the following:
On Monday the New York Times published an article about the FDA’s plan to research the safety of a very commonly prescribed medication, polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG 3350 (most commonly known under the brand name, MiraLAX®). As a pediatric gastroenterologist who often recommends this medication, I wanted to share my personal thoughts after reading the article.
First of all, although the news was certainly a surprise to me, it was a pleasant one. I was ...
With the winter months upon us, my patients and families are concerned how to maintain activity levels when it’s cold, rainy, and gets dark outside too early. Even in the warmest months, there may be reasons a child might be inside more than out – including safety concerns. Fortunately, there are many fun ways children CAN stay active indoors when playgrounds are cold, ball fields are icy, yards are soggy, or the sun goes down too early.
Here are some ways kids can play inside while also working on strength, balance, flexibility, or coordination:
As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I’m often asked whether there is any way to prevent a child from developing celiac disease. Based on what I knew regarding how food allergies develop, I used to counsel families that there might be a “window of opportunity”, between four and six months, when it’s possible to introduce grains and other gluten-containing foods that could potentially “teach” the immune system to tolerate gluten and thus lower the risk of developing celiac disease.
However, my “window theory” recently got thrown out the window when the results of two important scientific studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.