Common causes for diarrhea in children
The leading cause of diarrhea in children is viral gastroenteritis, also commonly called stomach flu. It is often caused by rotavirus, although other types of viruses, such as Norovirus, may also affect children. Rotavirus outbreaks usually occur during winter and early spring, and children usually acquire the infection from hospitals and child-care centers. Other types of viruses, such as enteroviruses (i.e., Coxsackievirus) affect children during summer months.
Bacterial infection from unsafe drinking water, poor handling of sewage and contaminated food are common causes of diarrhea in children especially in developing countries. Common bacteria involved include E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella.
Parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium often cause diarrhea in children who are exposed to contaminated water supply.
Aside from infectious microorganisms, certain medications including antibiotics and laxatives can cause diarrhea in children. Causes of chronic diarrhea include food allergies, irritable bowel disease, celiac disease, and Crohn's disease.