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Toddler diarrhoea: is it a useful diagnostic label?
  1. C V E Powell1,
  2. H R Jenkins2
  1. 1Department of General Paediatrics, The Children's Hospital for Wales, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Health, The Children's Hospital for Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Colin Powell, Department of General Paediatrics, Children's Hospital for Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; colin.powell3{at}


Toddler diarrhoea is a term coined many years ago to describe a young child who passes several loose stools a day but who is otherwise healthy with excellent growth and normal examination. It could be argued that it is not an appropriate diagnostic term as it potentially stops the clinician from thinking about the possible causes of loose stools in this clinical situation. This article, which follows a debate between the authors on the topic at the 2010 Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual meeting, discusses the differential diagnoses of a young child presenting with the so-called toddler diarrhoea.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.