• What to look out for

    Vomiting and diarrhoea can occur on their own or together. Gastro enteritis is the most common cause of diarrhoea caused by an infection, either viral or bacterial from contaminated food or close contact with  someone  who already has symptoms.


    Watch our video with advice from Dr. Nuala O’Connor about how to tackle a tummy bug.

    Your child’s diarrhoea usually lasts between 24 and 48 hours. If your child attends a crèche or school then bugs that cause diarrhoea can spread easily due to the close contact with other children especially in the toddler age group.


  • What can you do

    Keep your child home from crèche or school and make sure they practice good hand hygiene to avoid spreading the infection to others. Keep your child hydrated by offering plenty of clear fluid e.g flat white lemonade, sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions available without prescription in pharmacies. Breast fed babies can continue to be offered breast milk.  Bottle fed babies should be able to tolerate milk feeds.

    Your child can continue to eat with diarrhoea but stick to starchy foods like toast, pasta, rice, chicken or fish.  Avoid dairy, fruit and vegetables until the diarrhoea has stopped.  Your child should not to return to creche or school until 48 hours after diarrhea has stopped to avoid spreading the infection to other children.

    Be very careful about washing your hands after changing nappies or cleaning up diarrhoea spills. Clean spills with hot water and detergent then disinfect the area with a dilute solution of household bleach.

    Do not give your child anti-diarrhoea medicines unless your doctor has told you to.

    Antibiotics will not help diarrhoea.

  • When to seek help

     When should I seek help?

    You should contact your doctor if:

    • the diarrhoea lasts for more than 24 hours
    • you notice blood in the diarrhoea
    • your child complains of bad tummy pain with the diarrhoea
    • your child cannot keep down any drinks
    • your child is on  medication for another condition and cannot take it because they feel unwell
    • you are worried about your child’s condition