How is diarrhea defined in children?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

Diarrhea implies an increase in stool volume and diminished stool consistency.

  • In children younger than 2 years, diarrhea is defined as daily stools with a volume greater than 10 mL/kg.

  • In children older than 2 years, diarrhea is defined as daily stools with a weight greater than 200 g. In practice, this typically means loose-to-watery stools passed 3 or more times per day.

  • Individual stool patterns widely vary; for example, breastfed children may normally have 5-6 stools per day.


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