Acute Diarrhea is an increase in the number of stools per day and/or increase in the looseness of stools. Diarrhea is a common problem that usually only lasts a few days. Diarrhea that lasts less than a week is called "acute."
Acute diarrhea can occur at any time of the year, but is most common during the winter months. Children less than 3 years old have an average of one to three episodes of acute diarrhea every year.
Chronic Diarrhea is an increase in the number of stools per day and/or more loose or liquid stools. When diarrhea lasts for more than four weeks, it is called “chronic.”
There are many causes of chronic diarrhea. Some exist in healthy people, but others are diseases that need long term medical care.
Toddler’s diarrhea is also known as chronic nonspecific diarrhea of childhood, and it affects children from 6 months to 5 years of age. Children with toddler’s diarrhea will have 3-10 loose stools per day. These stools typically occur during the day when the child is awake and sometimes immediately after eating. The stool is frequently watery or loose and may have food particles in it although the stools should not contain blood. The child may have days when stools are more formed. Despite the diarrhea, the child continues to grow and gain weight appropriately as long as the diet contains enough calories. The child is active and has a normal appetite. Abdominal pain is atypical and could suggest other causes such as infection. Toddler’s diarrhea is not considered a disease, and children with this condition will get better on their own by school age.