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Is there anything I can do to protect my little one from the causes of diarrhoea in the first place?

Answered by Dr Ellie Cannon
8th September 2015
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Much of what you can to prevent the spread of diarrhoea to your little one revolves around maintaining good hygiene practice. Measures that you can take to prevent the spread of germs if someone in your house has diarrhoea include:

  • Cleaning the toilet (including the seat and handle) with disinfectant after each visit
  • Avoiding sharing any items such as flannels, cutlery and towels
  • Wash all soiled bedding and linen on the hottest possible temperature
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after going to the toilet and before any food preparation or mealtimes

If your little one has had diarrhoea in the past two weeks, they should avoid swimming pools to prevent further transmission. Good food preparation is also an important part of preventing illness: making sure that raw and cooked foods are never stored together, everything is cooked thoroughly, food is properly refrigerated and foods past their use by date are not given to your children can help minimise their chance of becoming ill.

A vaccination is now available that can protect your little one from rotavirus, a common cause of diarrhoea in children. This vaccine is now part of the UK routine childhood vaccination schedule and it is given orally so there are no needles involved. Two separate doses are given; one at 2 months of age and the second dose at 3 months of age.


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