Review decision date: February 2014

Review decision: 

Following consultation with stakeholders this guideline has now been placed on the static list.

Next review date: TBC

This guideline applies to children younger than 5 years who present to a healthcare professional for advice in any setting. It covers diagnosis, assessment of dehydration, fluid management, nutritional management and the role of antibiotics and other therapies. It provides recommendations on the advice to be given to parents and carers, and also considers when care should be escalated - from home management through to hospital admission.

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 guideline will assume that prescribers will use a drug's summary of product characteristics to inform their decisions for individual patients.

February 2011

Please note that an amended version of the information for the public document (originally published in April 2010) is now available. This version enhances the advice to parents and carers relating to action required when a child has bilious (green) vomit.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) accreditation logo