WiRED Releases Health Learning Module on Diarrhea in Children


Diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day — more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.


WiRED International’s Diarrhea in Children Module describes the condition in children, its causes, symptoms, complications, treatment and prevention; dangers and risks of dying; chronic diarrhea; and the importance of dietary therapy beginning with breastfeeding.


Diarrhea is the body’s way of ridding itself of germs and is usually a symptom of infection within the digestive system that can be traced to a variety of germs, bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms. Diarrhea is very common in children and occurs when they experience loose and watery stools or more bowel movements than is normal for them. Diarrhea deprives children of the nutrition needed to grow physically and cognitively; therefore, diarrhea is a major cause of malnutrition.


An urgent concern over diarrhea is the rapid loss of water and salts, which, if not replaced quickly, cause dehydration. If more than 10% of the body’s fluid is lost, then dehydration leads to death. Diarrhea is especially dangerous in children because dehydration can set in very rapidly. A child can die from dehydration within a few days.


Treatment for diarrhea in children means replacing lost fluids quickly, depending on the child’s symptoms, age, general health and severity of the condition. The common therapy for diarrhea involves administering a solution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc tablets, which have saved an estimated 50 million children from death in the past 25 years. Learn more about dehydration and ORS by reviewing WiRED’s module on the topic.


For further information WiRED suggests exploring its Diarrhea in Children Module.



You can download the module in this story, and all 400+ of WiRED’s health modules, through WiRED’s Health Module Access Program (HealthMAP) by clicking here. This easy-to-use free program will enable you to create your own customized collection of health learning modules. You can learn more about HealthMAP through WiRED's animation.



Quiz Questions from WiRED’s Diarrhea in Children Module

1. ___________ children are at higher risk of experiencing more prolonged and often more frequent episodes of diarrhea.

 A. Asian  B. Female
 C. Male  D. Undernourished

2. Diarrhea control, particularly in the first six months of life, may help to reduce the prevalence of ____________ among children.

 A. HIV infection  B. Food allergies
 C. Stunting  D. Diabetes

3. Persistent diarrhea is an episode of diarrhea, with or without blood that lasts at least ____ days.

 A. 14  B. 18
 C. 21  D. 28

4. Compared with adults, water constitutes a greater proportion of young children’s body weight.

 A. True  B. False


Recommendations for the
Prevention of Diarrhea


Prevention Techniques:

  • Good hygiene — proper handwashing with soap
  • Safe drinking water
  • Adequate sanitation
  • Adequate nutrition
  • Breastfeeding for the first six months of life
  • Supplementation of vitamin A and zinc tablets
  • Up-to-date immunization of rotavirus and measles vaccinations