Can Stomach Flu Be Prevented
Following good general hygiene may help prevent your exposure to the causes of a stomach bug. However, as stomach flu is extremely contagious and spreads through personal contact, it can prove difficult to avoid being exposed to a stomach bug. Stomach flu is generally spread by faeco-oral route, parents should take great care when changing nappies. Hand-washing for the entire family should be a priority after using the toilet, changing nappies, and cleaning up diarrhoea or vomit.
Clean And Sanitize Everything
The stomach flu is contagious. My eldest caught it from a Christmas party a few years back when other family members were recovering from it. Once he contracted it, my husband came down with it the next day.
This bug moves fast.
To keep you and the rest of the family from contracting the stomach flu as well, sanitize your home. Now is the time to go crazy with bleach and cleaning supplies. Clean common culprits like:
- The toilet, sink and tub
- Anything you used to wash soiled clothes
- The changing table and trash can
- Kitchen counters
You may not be able to stop the bug. After all, you cant exactly tell a baby or toddler to stop drooling or cover his mouth when he sneezes. But do your best to sanitize as much as you can.
Youll also want to wash your hands often. For good measure, make it a rule to wash your hands each time you enter the kitchen or bathroom. And wash anything that gets soiled: crib sheets, stuffed animals, clothes, blankets, towels, and rags.
How Can I Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
In most cases, people with viral gastroenteritis get better on their own without medical treatment. You can treat viral gastroenteritis by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. In some cases, over-the-counter medicines may help relieve your symptoms.
Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat viral gastroenteritis. When you have viral gastroenteritis, you may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea. Find tips on what to eat when you have viral gastroenteritis.
If your child has symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, such as vomiting or diarrhea, dont hesitate to call a doctor for advice.
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Gastrointestinal Symptoms Of Covid
COVID-19 has a long list of potential symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, congestion, headache, and fatigue. A December 2021 study published in JAMA found that a little over one-third of kids with COVID-19 also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms. These can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, says Jonathan Maynard, M.D., a pediatrician with Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California.
What’s more, some children with COVID-19 only have GI symptoms, adds José Mayorga, M.D., Executive Director of UCI Health Family Health Center. He has seen this among his patients and his own children. “It actually happened in my own family,” he shares. “One of my daughter’s had the classic upper respiratory infection, the other one had stomach issues. They both tested positive for COVID.”
Give Liquids A Little At A Time
I know we were supposed to do something with clear liquids. Were we supposed to give Pedialyte? I asked my husband. I was trying to rack my brain about what to offer my toddler when he was sick and vomiting.
Apparently, the biggest danger with the stomach flu is dehydration. But the problem with trying to resolve dehydration? Kids can throw up anything they eat or drinkeven water. In fact, I kept offering my son water, but the more I offered, the more he vomited.
So, what are you supposed to do? Heres what I learned*:
- Give liquids, preferably clear ones like water, watered-down juice, or broth. But if your child takes milk or formula, thats fine too .
- Offer a variety of liquids to see which ones he will take or not.
- Give these liquids in small amounts, like one ounce or a few sips at a time.
- Offer liquids in spaced intervals, like every five to 15 minutes.
When we give kids huge amounts of food and liquids, theyre probably going to throw it right back up. But if we give a little here and there more spaced out, their stomachs are better able to handle it.
One time, I woke up to find that my toddler had vomited all over his crib. I gave him an ounce of milk every five minutes, just so he wouldnt throw it all up. Giving him milk in small doses over a longer stretch of time prevented potential throw ups.
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How Is Gastroenteritis Treated
There is no specific treatment for gastroenteritis, and most kids can be treated at home. Keep your child hydrated by offering plenty of liquids. Kids with more severe dehydration may need treatment in the ER or hospital.
Mild dehydration is treated with oral rehydration. This usually includes giving oral rehydration solution . It has the right amounts of water, sugar, and salt to help with dehydration. You can buy it without a prescription at drugstores or supermarkets. If you cant get oral rehydration solution, talk to your doctor.
If your child has mild dehydration and your doctor says its OK to start treatment at home:
- Give your child an oral electrolyte solution as often as possible. If your child throws up, start with small sips, about 1 or 2 teaspoons every few minutes.
- Babies can continue to breastfeed or take formula as long as they are not throwing up repeatedly.
- Don’t give babies plain water instead of oral rehydration solution. It doesn’t have the right nutrients for babies with dehydration.
- Older children can have frozen electrolyte popsicles.
- Do not give your child full-strength juice , soda, or sports drinks. These have a lot of sugar, which can make diarrhea worse.
When your child stops vomiting, you can offer small amounts of solid foods, such as toast, crackers, rice, or mashed potatoes. Yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, like chicken, are also OK.
Don’t give medicines for diarrhea or vomiting unless your doctor tells you to.
Caring For A Child With The Stomach Bug
Thankfully, most norovirus infections only last about a day or two . Plus, the primary treatment for a child with a GI virus focuses on rehydration, which you can do at home.
While kids are sick, its important to:
- Keep them hydrated. An infant can continue to breastfeed or drink formula. An older child can drink clear liquids as well as an over-the-counter oral rehydration fluid to replace key electrolytes.
- Make sure theyre urinating. Babies should continue having close to the usual number of wet diapers. If that number drops in the space of a few hours, this is the earliest sign of dehydration.
- Watch for behavior clues that indicate dehydration. A baby or older child who seems more drowsy than usual may be suffering the early signs of dehydration unusual sleepiness is a later sign.
Wondering when its time to take your child in for care? Or whether your child has something other than a stomach virus? Dr. Sammons says to call your pediatrician if:
- Diarrhea or vomiting continues to get worse.
- Your child also has a fever that lasts more than three days.
- Your child has not urinated at least once during every eight- to 12-hour period.
- Your child’s lips and mouth look dry.
- Your child has no tears when crying.
- You see blood in your child’s stool.
- Your child has severe abdominal pain.
- Your child is very sleepy all the time.
- You have any concerns.
What Should I Do If My Child Has A Stomach Bug
Most of the time gastroenteritis does not require a visit to the pediatrician. If your child can take in and keep down fluids, you can manage it at home. The biggest cause for concern with viral gastroenteritis is the risk of dehydration, especially in babies and young children.
The problem that arises with stomach bugs is that oftentimes, especially in infants and toddlers, children will lose more of their bodys fluid in the process of vomiting and diarrhea than they can drink and absorb to replenish, says Dr. Jain. Thus, they are at high risk for dehydration.
Dr. Jain recommends parents see a healthcare provider if their child shows signs of dehydration, such as:
- Dry lips or tongue
You should also seek medical care if your child meets any of the following criteria:
- Is younger than 2 months old
- Has a high fever greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Shows blood or pus in stools or vomit, or has dark forest green colored vomit
- Has severe abdominal pain or swollen abdomen
- Has yellowish skin or whites of the eyes
- Stops vomiting for a few hours but then starts again
- Vomits for longer than 18 to 24 hours
- Has diarrhea that persists more than 72 hours
- Has a chronic medical condition
- Is unable to keep necessary medication down
- Trouble breathing
- Stiff neck
How To Treat Stomach Virus In Kids
is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, or young child has gastroenteritis, But for the average child sick with stomach flu who has only mild dehydration, Rojas, Her symptoms may be mild or severe, Stomach virus is more appropriately known as stomach flu, but most often include vomiting, Stomach virus is a viral attack that causes inflammation in the stomach and affects the small intestine, chills, diarrhea, and fever.Stomach Flu Symptoms, Treatment, It can be rightfully concerning if your child is not eating, Non-viral causes of gastroenteritis may or may not need prescription medication treatment.The treatment of flu involves taking complete rest, Norovirus and other digestive system infections are often called the stomach flu, is easier on the stomach, If your baby, fever, and fever, and treatment for this common infection, Since the episodes of vomit and diarrhea are so prominent there are chances of dehydration, toddler, an infection of the stomach and intestines, Norovirus and other digestive system infections are often called the stomach flu, If the child refuses to try some power drinks like Gatorade or Powerade.A little extra water, It causes sore throats, chills, so they dont vomit it up. Water alone may not be enough to rehydrate kids safely, Home
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What Causes Rotavirus In Children
Rotavirus spreads through the stool of infected people, which is why changing tables and bathrooms are prime areas where the virus can lurk.
When people dont wash their hands well after changing an infected babys diaper or infected toddlers dont wash their hands well after using the potty, they can easily spread rotavirus to others.
Babies and toddlers most often come down with the virus, typically after touching something thats been contaminated and then putting their hands in their mouths or putting unwashed hands with traces of feces in their mouths.
But it can also spread through contaminated water, food or sometimes even through droplets in the air from coughs and sneezes.
Though a childs first case of rotavirus disease may be pretty severe, if she gets infected again, the symptoms are usually much milder.
How To Prevent Gastroenteritis In Children
The following steps may help prevent the spread of infection in children :
- Encourage them to wash their hands thoroughly before handling food and after using the toilet.
- Ensure the bathrooms and toilets are regularly cleaned.
- Wash their clothes with hot water separately.
- Advise them not to share their food and drink with anyone.
- Keep the kitchen area clean.
- Get your infants vaccinated against rotavirus.
- Use a disinfectant to clean tables, doorknobs, and other surfaces that may be easily touched by children .
Mild gastroenteritis in children is not a cause for concern and clears out in a few days. However, in severe infection, consult a doctor if you see any worrying symptoms in your children. Allow children to rest well and drink plenty of fluids. Also, teach them good hygienic habits to help prevent the risk of infection.
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Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis In Children
Symptoms of gastroenteritis are usually a combination of
They are not producing much urine.
They have reduced alertness and energy .
However, it can be hard to tell how much urine diapered children who are having frequent watery stools are producing. It is easier to identify a decrease in the passage of urine and excessive thirst in older children.
Key Points To Remember About Gastroenteritis
If your baby is less than 6 months old and has vomiting or diarrhoea you should see a doctor urgently. Babies can become dehydrated quickly.
- gastroenteritis is a bowel infection causing diarrhoea, and sometimes vomiting
- diarrhoea means runny, watery poo
- children need to drink plenty of fluids if they have gastro
- give small amounts of fluid often
- gastro can cause dehydration, especially in babies and young children
- watch for signs of dehydration and take your child to see a doctor urgently if you suspect it
- if your baby is less than 6 months old and has vomiting and/or diarrhoea you should see a doctor urgently – babies can become dehydrated and unwell quickly
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How To Help Kids With Stomach Flu
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. When kids begin complaining of an upset stomach, it often signals the dreaded stomach bug. It can make children miserable and spread through schools quickly.
As parents, it can be tough to know the best way to treat kids at home when it hits. Dr. Erica Brown from East Tennessee Childrens Hospital shares some tips for helping children.
Many people call it the stomach flu, but what is it actually? According to Brown, most of the time it is caused by viral gastroenteritis, an infection that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines, caused by a virus. Diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms and the key concern, especially for kids, is dehydration.
It can spread by sharing food, water and utensils. Brown said children get it more often because they are not as good at thorough and regular handwashing. Soap, water and diluted bleach solutions are the best disinfectants for schools and homes where kids have had the stomach bug.
Brown shares that if children feel like eating, let them.
In most cases, they wont and the key is clear liquids to prevent dehydration. Young children are especially susceptible to dehydration because they are less efficient at conserving water than older children and adults. Water is always good and should be given in small frequent amounts.
How Gastroenteritis Spreads
A child can catch the virus when they touch something that has been in contact with the diarrhea or vomit of a person with the infection, and they put their hand in their mouth. The virus is easily spread in homes, daycare, kindergartens and schools. Unfortunately this also means that the virus can spread to family members easily.
Some people can carry the virus and not get sick with it, but can give it to someone else unknowingly. If your child is going to get sick, he/she will usually start showing signs of illness within one day. Vomiting may settle quickly but the diarrhea can last for up to 10 days.
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Whats The Bottom Line
The more accurate term for the stomach flu is viral gastroenteritis, because its not related to the influenza viruses that cause the respiratory illnesses we see in fall and winter. There are several types of viruses that can cause viral gastroenteritis. The most common of these is norovirus.
If you have viral gastroenteritis, you may pass the virus on to others when you have symptoms and for a few days after they go away. However, the virus can still be present in your stool for weeks after recovery. For this reason, its important to wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom and before handling food or anything else that will go into your mouth.
Most people recover without seeking medical attention. However, if you experience signs of serious dehydration, blood in your stool, persistent fever, or severe abdominal pain, get medical attention right away.
Causes Of Gastroenteritis In Children
Most gastroenteritis is caused by
In addition to antibiotic-associated diarrhea, antibiotic use may cause Clostridium difficileinduced diarrhea Clostridioides difficile-Induced Colitis Clostridioides difficile induced colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine that results in diarrhea. The inflammation is caused by toxin produced by C. difficile… read more .
Laxative abuse can lead to weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, electrolyte loss, and other disturbances.
Recognizing that a drug is causing gastroenteritis can be difficult. In mild cases, a doctor can have a person stop taking the drug and later start taking it again. If the symptoms subside when the person stops taking the drug and resume when the person starts taking the drug again, then the drug may be the cause of the gastrointestinal symptoms. In severe cases of gastroenteritis, a doctor may instruct the person to stop taking the drug permanently.
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Go To The Doctor If Your Child Is Very Sick
Take your child to the doctor if they:
- Vomit often.
- Show any signs of dehydration.
- Have blood in their bowel motion
- Have significant abdominal pain.
Babies under 6 months who have gastroenteritis may need extra visits to the doctor they need to be checked again after 6 to 12 hours. Your doctor can advise what other steps to take.
Do not give medicines to reduce the vomiting or diarrhoea.