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Diarrhea

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Diarrhea is a change from child’s normal pattern of bowel movements:

  • an increase in number of bowel movements; and/or
  • a change of stool consistency (diarrheal stools are liquid and have no shape or form).
If a child has diarrhea with blood in it, immediately call the child’s parents, guardian or emergency contact. Advise parents that the child should be seen by a doctor immediately.

Monitor bowel movements of all children for daily changes during diapering and after toileting.


Managing diarrhea: What to do

Record episodes of loose or watery stools, which are not normal for that child, in the Illness Surveillance Form. Record number of loose stools, times of day, appearance and colour (including any blood).

Notify the parents if the child has two or more diarrhea bowel movements during one day. Advise parent that the child cannot return to the child care centre until the diarrhea has stopped for 24 hours, based on internal child care policy or direction from Oxford County Public Health.

Separate a child that has diarrhea (without blood) from other children and call the parent to pick up the child as soon as possible. Other steps to take include:
  • No water table, wading pool or sensory play participation by ill children
  • Inform all staff which children have diarrhea
  • Ensure the ill child’s hands are washed more frequently
  • Staff must wash their hands after caring for a sick child
  • Clean and disinfect toys handled by the sick child

Call Oxford County Public Health when there is an increase in the number of children who have diarrhea, or when children with diarrhea have severe or unusual symptoms (e.g., severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, or dehydration), or any time you have questions.


Quick Reference

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Call parents immediately if child has any blood in their stool, or if child has more than two diarrhea bowel movements in one day.

Call Public Health at 519.539.9800 or 1.800.755.0394 to report an increase in cases.