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Background: We undertook an online survey to gain a greater understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to seek care among caregivers of small children.
Methods: Caregivers were invited to participate via direct e-mail from Harris Poll, a company that specializes in on-line surveys. This was a prospective, web-based survey of a defined number of responders on a first come, first included basis. The survey focused on caregiver’s awareness of the potential causes of diarrheal illnesses and of available treatment options. Caregivers were required to be US residents, have a child living in the home who was 1 -12 years old and who suffered at least one episode of diarrhea in the last year.
Results: The survey included 1,048 complete responses were accumulated. Responders were mostly female (59%) with one (51%) or two (39%) children in the home. The results of the survey showed a general lack of awareness of what constitutes clinical diarrhea and how best to care for a child who presents with persistent diarrhea.
Conclusion: The results of this survey point to the need for broad public education on the importance of recognition, treatment, and prevention of childhood diarrhea caused by parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.