This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of children younger than 5 years with diarrhoea and vomiting.
Treatment and care should take into account children's needs and preferences and those of their parents or carers. Parents and carers of children with diarrhoea and vomiting should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If parents or carers do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
If the patient is under 16, healthcare professionals should follow the guidelines in the Department of Health's Seeking consent: working with children.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and the parents and carers of children with diarrhoea and vomiting is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to their needs. Treatment and care of children with diarrhoea and vomiting, and the information parents and carers are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
Parents and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about their child's treatment and care.
Parents and carers should also be given the information and support they need.