Skip to main content

We use cookies to help us improve your experience and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

To find out more about cookies and how we use them, please see our privacy policy.

Symptoms of acute diarrhoea in babies and children

Symptoms of acute diarrhoea will usually last between 3 and 5 days. They can include:

  • loose or watery poo
  • pooing more than 3 times a day
  • vomiting
  • high temperature
  • tummy pains
  • dehydration

Dehydration

Your child may become dehydrated if they have severe diarrhoea or vomiting.

Signs of dehydration are more likely in children who are:

  • under 1 year old
  • breastfed and stop feeding
  • not drinking fluids

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • passing less urine than normal
  • weakness
  • less energy than usual
  • irritability
  • less tears when crying
  • a dry mouth, lips and tongue

Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • less wet nappies than usual
  • being drowsy or hard to wake
  • pale or blotchy skin
  • cold hands and feet
  • 6 or more bouts of diarrhoea in 24 hours
  • 3 or more bouts of vomiting in 24 hours

Contact your GP immediately or go to your nearest hospital if your child shows any signs of severe dehydration

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
Next review due: 20/11/2021