Most cases of diarrhoea clear up after a few days without treatment, and you may not need to see your GP.
However, diarrhoea can lead to dehydration, so you should drink plenty of fluids – small, frequent sips of water – until it passes. It's very important that babies and small children do not become dehydrated.
Your pharmacist may suggest you use an oral rehydration solution (ORS) if you or your child are particularly at risk of dehydration.
You should eat solid food as soon as you feel able to. If you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby and they have diarrhoea, you should try to feed them as normal.
Stay at home until at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea to prevent spreading any infection to others.
Medications to reduce diarrhoea, such as loperamide, are available. However, these are not usually necessary, and most types should not be given to children.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It's very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two.
The main symptoms of a cold include:
More severe symptoms, including a high temperature (fever), headache and aching muscles can also occur, although these tend to be associated more with flu.
Read more about the symptoms of a cold
There's no cure for a cold, but you can look after yourself at home by:
Many painkillers and decongestants are available from pharmacies without a prescription. They're generally safe for older children and adults to take, but might not be suitable for babies, young children, pregnant women, people with certain underlying health conditions, and those taking certain other medications. Speak to a pharmacist if you're unsure.
Read more about treating colds and colds in younger children
If you or your child has a cold, there's usually no need to see your GP as it should clear within a week or two.
You only really need to contact your GP if:
It might also be a good idea to see your GP if you're concerned about your baby or an elderly person, or if you have a long-term illness such as a lung condition.
When Should I Worry- Guide to Common Childhood Illnesses
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