Welcome back to Dr. Cara Natterson, author of Dangerous or Safe? & her Prescription Pad column for gurumommy. This week she gives us a ‘homemade’ cure for stopping diarrhea. Diarrhea can be especially painful for little ones because of the combination of cramping and the awful diaper rash that accompanies it. To help nip diarrhea in the bud, follow these general rules: Avoid fruits and veggies that start with “P” (peaches, pears, prunes, papaya, and plums) because they are high in sugar and fiber; for the same reason, avoid mango too.
Drink lots of fluids. Water helps to replenish water lost through the stool. But rice water (see recipe below) and white grape juice work well to slow down diarrhea. These are not drinks meant for infants—so if your baby has diarrhea call your doctor. But for toddlers and older kids, rice water and white grape juice really work well.
Gatorade isn’t a must, but it can help. Many parents think that the electrolytes in Gatorade are medicinal. They aren’t. Particularly if your child is eating in spite of his diarrhea, he probably won’t have electrolyte imbalance. But for kids that feel crummy and don’t want to eat or drink much, the combination of sodium, potassium, and sugar in Gatorade can make a slightly dehydrated child feel a bit better.
Fixing the rash: for babies, diarrhea almost always means diaper rash. In order to prevent it (or cure it quickly), keep your child out of diapers as much as possible; clean the area with water and pat dry with a towel (rather than using wipes); and slather on any diaper cream that has zinc in it (Desitin, Balmex, Boudreaux’s).