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When to get medical help for diarrhoea in babies and children

Most babies and toddlers recover from diarrhoea without needing to see a doctor.

You should take your child to your GP immediately if they:

  • have had diarrhoea more than 6 times in 24 hours
  • have blood or mucus in their poo
  • have vomited more than 3 times in 24 hours
  • show any symptoms of dehydration
  • still have diarrhoea after 7 days
  • have recently returned from travelling abroad

Take your child to the hospital immediately if they:

  • have any symptoms of severe dehydration
  • have a high temperature that will not go down
  • are getting worse fast
  • have bad tummy pain - older children will be able to tell you if they have a bad tummy pain. Younger children and babies will not be able to. Inconsolable crying in a baby or small child could be a sign that they are in pain

A high temperature for babies under 3 months means 38°C and over. A high temperature for babies over 3 months means 39°C and over.

page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
next review due: 20/11/2021