Diarrhoea is a significant health issue among children in India, particularly during the summer months. Surprisingly, it is also a leading cause of childhood mortality in India. According to UNICEF, in 2020, diarrhoeal diseases accounted for approximately 13% of all deaths among children under five, translating to about 300,000 deaths annually. The exact statistics can vary from year to year and across different regions. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) conducted in 2015-16, around 9% of children under five years of age had experienced diarrhoea in the two weeks preceding the survey.

Studies have also shown that the incidence of diarrhoea increases during the summer and monsoon seasons due to factors like higher temperatures, increased consumption of contaminated water, and food spoilage. Hospital records and health surveys often show a spike in the number of children admitted for diarrhoeal diseases during the summer months. For instance, a study conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Chennai reported an increase in paediatric diarrhoea cases during the summer season. According to a 2019-2021 study, 7.3% of children under five in India suffer from diarrhoea. This prevalence is higher in rural areas (7.7%) compared to urban areas (6.2%). The incidence and impact of diarrhoea vary widely across different states and regions in India, and states with poorer sanitation and healthcare infrastructure tend to report higher rates of diarrhoeal diseases. A recent study shows state-wise variations, with Bihar having the highest prevalence (13.7%) and Lakshadweep having the lowest (2.3%). 

While definitive summer-specific statistics are harder to find, data shows a clear link between diarrhoea and factors that worsen in summer. Overall, while exact summer figures might be elusive, the prevalence of diarrhoea in children under five in India is significant, and summers likely play a part due to increased heat and potential contamination.


There are several factors which contribute to this seasonal increase of acute diarrhoea in children in India, particularly during the summer months. Some of them are:

1. Higher Temperatures: The hot weather can lead to faster spoilage of food and proliferation of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, making food-borne illnesses more common, which lead to diarrhoea. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea in young children.

2. Water Contamination: Water sources can become contaminated more easily in the summer due to increased usage and potential scarcity of clean water, leading to the consumption of unsafe water.

3. Poor Sanitation and Hygiene: In many areas, inadequate sanitation facilities and hygiene practices contribute significantly to the spread of diarrhoeal diseases.

4. Dehydration: The risk of dehydration is higher during summer, and children are more vulnerable. Dehydration can exacerbate diarrhoeal diseases.

5. Children's developing immune systems: Young children are more susceptible to infections than adults because their immunity is yet not that strong.

6. Rotavirus: Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in children under five years globally, round the year, including India, however, it is more likely to cause diarrhoea in winters and early spring months. It's particularly prevalent during the cooler months in India compared to tropical regions. Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that infects the intestines, leading to severe diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Its infections can lead to severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. The introduction of rotavirus vaccines has significantly reduced the incidence of rotavirus-related diarrhoea. In India, the Rotavirus vaccine is included in the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) and has contributed to a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths due to rotavirus infections.

7. Swimming: Diarrhoea can occur from swimming in a pool that is contaminated with germs or parasites. Swallowing contaminated water, can cause diarrhoea, because even a small amount of pool water can contain germs or parasites. Some diarrhoea-causing resistant organisms, like Cryptosporidium, have a tough outer shell and can survive in properly chlorinated water for several days.


The good news is that most of the causes of diarrhoea are easily preventable. If your child does develop diarrhoea, it is important to see a doctor right away to get treatment and prevent dehydration. The statistics highlights the ongoing challenge of diarrhoeal diseases in India, especially among children during the summer months. Preventive measures include ensuring access to clean drinking water, promoting good hygiene practices like regular handwashing, ensuring food safety, and providing prompt medical attention when symptoms appear. Public health campaigns and community education can also play a vital role in reducing the incidence of diarrhoea in children during the summer months in India. Here are some tips to help prevent diarrhoea in your child during the summer:

Managing dehydration: A lot of electrolytes are also lost in the stools, and they need to be replenished, so make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids, especially clean water and most importantly ORS (oral rehydration solution). One can add a spoon of sugar and a quarter spoon of salt to a glass of water in case ORS is not available.

Maintaining Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food and eating, and after using the toilet; also make your child learn the importance of this.

• Maintaining proper nutrition: Breastfeeding is very important for babies, so breastfeed your baby if possible, as breast milk can help protect them from diarrhoea. Avoid giving your child raw or undercooked food and be sure to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

Preventing Pool Sickness: To avoid pool sickness, one should take a bath with soap before entering and after coming out of the pool. This is the best way to save oneself and others from these infections.


Treatment mainly focuses on managing symptoms, particularly dehydration, through oral rehydration solutions (ORS), intravenous fluids in severe cases, and zinc supplementation.

Managing dehydration and its signs

The most important thing to understand is that it is not diarrhoea per se that causes the threat to life, but it is dehydration or loss of water and electrolytes which is the biggest threat. It is necessary to identify the signs and symptoms of dehydration. In case of dehydration, the skin becomes shriveled and dry, there is increased thirst, and the mouth remains dry. Output of urine decreases and the colour of urine becomes dark yellow. The eyes become sunken and are dark all around. It is pertinent to mention here that one should not wait for dehydration to set in and rather increase the intake of water and electrolytes as soon as the diarrhoea sets it. The best way to manage dehydration is to avoid it and not let it happen.

Role of Homoeopathy in treating summer diarrhoea in children:

The first and foremost thing to remember here is that treatment should be started without any delay. There is no time to waste as the child may not get better on his own.  A common misconception that I have always struggled to eradicate from the minds of the patients is that since this is an acute disease, Homeopathy may not be suitable for treating it. The fact is that Homeopathic medicines work very fast and cure the diarrhoea promptly. In fact, most of the time homeopathy works faster than any other system of medicine in treating diarrhoea.

Homoeopathic medicines like Antim-crudum, Aloes, Arsenic, Bryonia, Ferrum-phos, Medo, Podo, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Veratrum Album etc. are found to be very effective. These are just a few common remedies to name. It's crucial to remember that homeopathic remedies should be chosen based on individual symptoms and constitution, and the guidance of a qualified homeopathic practitioner is recommended. Some of the important ones are described as under:

1. Ferrum-phos:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea in summer, in emaciated children. These children have a lot of weakness, debility, exhaustion, feebleness, prostration and loss of strength and vital power. They have frequent watery stool which may be bloody, dark or light (like fish brine) or may be brown or yellowish or greenish. Stools are painless and may be mixed with blood or green mucous. It may be white or appear as containing chopped particles.

2. Medo:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea in summer, with causing great emaciation. Stools are involuntary, thin, watery, white, or yellow, or cream coloured, or green with or without mucous, in summers. They may appear curdled, or like chopped green potatoes with fetid, offensive smell like those rotten eggs.

3. Veratrum-alb:

It is a remedy for summer diarrhoea occurring suddenly at night. It is triggered by taking cold drinks in summer. Patients are very weak, exhausted, prostrated with loss of vital strength and they can even collapse with debility. These are extreme conditions which when not treated may prove fatal. 

4. Psorinum:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea in summer, in infants or babies in their first or second summer. Stools are thin, dark or brown, or green, bilious, mixed with mucus and very offensive.

5. Nux-moschata:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea occurring after taking cold drinks in summer. It is indicated in children with lienteric stools; containing undigested food particles like chopped eggs. These children have no appetite and have profound sleepiness. 

6. Antim-tart:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea in summer, in infants of 3 months around. They pass stools which are green as grass. Children are very weak, exhausted, prostrated with loss of vital strength and they can even collapse with debility. These are extreme conditions which when not treated may prove fatal for the child. 

7. Antim-crude:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea occurring every summer, with patients passing yellow stools which are very offensive.

8. Kali-brom:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea in summer, with frequent watery and green stools.

9. Kali-bich:

It is a remedy for periodical diarrhoea occurring every summer, or dysentery in early part of summer. 

10. Borax:

It is a remedy for summer diarrhoea in infants mostly under a year old. These babies can pass twenty or thirty frequent stools in summer complaints.

11. Secale:

It is a remedy for summer diarrhoea in scrofulous children. 

12. Camphora:

Camphor is a remedy for cholera. These patients have rice watery stools in summer which are very offensive. Apart from cholera it is also suited to constipation in summers, where there is great difficulty to expel stools.

13. Cuprum remedies:

Rubrics of 3 important cuprum remedies are as under:

• Diarrhoea: Cholera: Choleraic, during summer: Cupr-ar

• Stool: Mucous: Chronic, during summer, with cramps in abdomen: Cupr-ar

• Diarrhoea: Summer, in: Children of, with brain affection: Cupr

• Diarrhoea: Summer, in: Pains, with griping and cramps in limbs: Cupr-acet

14. Aconite:

It is a remedy for dysentery (diarrhoea + mucus) during summer, when days are hot, and nights are cold. Stools are green like chopped spinach.

15. Acid-Phos:

It is a remedy for diarrhoea after taking cold food in summer, when days are hot, and nights are cold. Children might suffer from extreme weakness as a result of diarrhoea which is prominent.

Early detection and use of appropriate homeopathic medicines is the key to expeditious resolution of the disease and can help minimize potential harmful effects or transmission of communicable diseases. Alongside medication, efforts to improve water quality, sanitation, and hygiene, along with timely medical interventions, are crucial to reducing the incidence and impact of rotavirus and other diarrhoeal diseases. Using appropriate medicines at the right time might save you from unnecessary hospital visits, chaos and a long-term illness. Timely intervention might help you save your time, energy and money. 

Self-diagnosis and self-medication are never recommended. Visit your Homeopathic physician before taking any medicines. For online consultation or any related queries consult our expert homeopathic doctors and book an appointment with us.

Disclaimer: The author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.