This guideline covers diagnosing, managing and referring infants and young children younger than 5 years who present with acute diarrhoea (lasting up to 14 days) with or without vomiting. It aims to improve the diagnosis and management of infective gastroenteritis and appropriate escalation of care.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- assessing dehydration and shock
- fluid and nutritional management
- antibiotic therapy
- escalation of care
- information and advice for parents and carers
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Parents, carers and families of children with gastroenteritis
Is this guideline up to date?
We checked this guideline in February 2014. We identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called diarrhoea and vomiting in children: diarrhoea and vomiting caused by gastroenteritis: diagnosis, assessment and management in children younger than 5 years.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.