Taking Care of Troubled Tummies

February 12th, 2013 posted by Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D.

by Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D.

Diarrhea is not the most pleasant topic to discuss or even think about, but the truth is, it affects one and a half million children each year. Many times, a case of diarrhea will simply run its course, lasting just a day or two, and one of the most important things parents can do is keep their child hydrated and wait for the diarrhea to subside. For today’s active kids? who have schedules filled with soccer practice, dance classes, piano lessons and any number of other activities? sometimes a little help is in order to ease the embarrassment and discomfort caused by a bout of diarrhea.

I often receive phone calls from moms and dads wondering what they can give their child to alleviate his or her symptoms. What I tell them often comes as a surprise.

The fact is that there is only one over-the-counter (OTC) anti-diarrheal brand that can be given to children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old. That brand is Imodium® A-D which contains the active ingredient loperamide HCL.

In April 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that all anti-diarrheal products containing bismuth subsalicylate, which included many commonly known brands, change their labels and no longer be indicated for use in children under the age of 12. This label change was due to the fact that these brands contain salicylates, from which aspirin is derived. Parents should not administer aspirin or salicylate products to children under the age of 12 because it may put the child at risk for developing Reye’s syndrome, a disease that can have devastating effects on a child’s body and may be fatal.

Diarrhea is a common ailment that many children suffer from, especially as they enter elementary school and come in contact with everyday germs, viruses and bacteria. Imodium A-D for children works by reducing the movement of food and other waste through a child’s intestines, allowing more time for water and electrolytes to be reabsorbed back into the body. This means less frequent trips to the bathroom, which can mean a much happier child.

Considering the FDA label changes? and as safety is always a concern? I recommend that parents check with their children’s doctor about any OTC medications, especially when it comes to treating bouts of diarrhea. Moms and dads need to be informed about what should and should not be given to children to make them feel better so that a simple case of diarrhea doesn’t potentially become something much worse.

Parents can learn more about the causes and treatment options for children’s diarrhea at www.talltoilettales.com .

Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D. (1 Posts)

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