How To Get Rid Of The Stomach Flu: 7 Home Remedies That Can Help
Getting rid of a stomach virus can actually be as simple as waiting 24 to 28 hours for symptoms to subside. If youre looking to feel better faster and recover well from the stomach flu, there are some natural remedies that you can easily do at home that have been known to help boost the recovery process.
Do you know what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about how to get rid of stomach flu caused by the norovirus? According to the CDC:
There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral infection. If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.
When you have the stomach flu, youre most likely dealing with diarrhea and/or vomiting. Both of these symptoms mean a lot of water loss for your body and the chance of dehydration which only makes you feel that much worse. To avoid becoming dehydrated from the stomach flu, its really important that you consume a lot of clear liquids like water, coconut water and herbal tea.
2. What To Eat
3. What Not to Eat
You want to know how to get rid of the stomach flu fast? Well, what you dont put into your body can be just as important or helpful as what you do put into your body! If you have the stomach flu, there are certain foods and drinks youll want to avoid until youre feeling better.
About Vomiting In Children And Babies
It’s normal for babies and children to vomit occasionally. In most cases, it will last no longer than one to two days and isn’t a sign of anything serious.
The most common cause of vomiting in children and babies is gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the gut usually caused by a virus or bacteria, which also causes diarrhoea. The symptoms can be unpleasant but your child will usually start to feel better after a few days.
This page outlines what to do if your child keeps vomiting and describes some of the common causes of vomiting in children and babies.
If your child has a high temperature, you can also read a separate page about fever in children.
Stomach Flu And Dehydration
How can I prevent dehydration?If your baby or child has had several bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, he or she will need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
If you are breastfeeding, continue to give your baby breastmilk. Breastmilk has fluids and electrolytes needed to prevent dehydration. Your doctor may also want you to give your baby an oral rehydration solution .
If you feed your baby formula, try switching to one that is lactose free while your baby is sick. Lactose can make diarrhea worse. Your doctor may also suggest switching from formula to an ORS for 12 to 24 hours, and then switching back.
For toddlers and young children, use an ORS, which contains the right mix of salt, sugar, potassium and other nutrients to help replace lost body fluids. Children older than 1 year may also have clear soups, clear sodas or juice mixed with water to help prevent dehydration. You should avoid giving your child plain water and dark sodas. Water alone does not contain enough salt and nutrients to help with dehydration. Dark sodas are typically very high in sugar and can irritate your childs stomach.
Signs of dehydration
- Little or lack of urine, or urine that is darker than usual
- Urinating less frequently than usual
- Dry mouth
- No tears when crying
- In babies who are younger than 18 months old, sunken soft spots on the top of their heads
- Skin that isnt as springy or elastic as usual
What is an ORS?
Should I feed my child when he or she has diarrhea?
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Does Medicine Help The Stomach Flu
Though you may want to give your child a medicine to help with stomach flu symptoms, Dr. Rojas recommends against it. Because the stomach flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help.
“Usually we just need to let the virus run its own course,” says Dr. Rojas. “Trying to take medications can prolong symptoms and make them worse.”
Dr. Rojas says the only exception to the no-medicine rule is the appropriate dose of acetaminophen if your child has a fever.
Make Some Of That Famous Sick Food For Your Child
You know the food I am talking about, right?! That staple warm soup that always sounds good when youâre not feeling too hot.
Yep, you guessed it, chicken noodle soup!
Obviously, you donât want to fill your childâs tummy with too much food, especially if there are vomiting.
If they are not hungry, donât force it. But usually, once the throwing up is done, chicken noodle soup is something light and easy on the stomach.
Plus, there is something about the good oleâ fashioned chicken noodle soup that is the perfect stomach bug remedy for kids and everyone all around!
Now there is a catch to this, use bone broth in your soup! Bone broth offers so many amazing benefits and is a great superfood providing all kinds of nutrients and goodness for your child.
Bone broth is a great way to keep your little one hydrated too!
You can purchase bone broth at most natural food stores, online or make your own.
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Home Remedies To Treat Stomach Flu In Children
Stomach flu is very common among children. Children do tend to skip personal hygiene. They put things in their mouth, which they are not supposed to. They also put their unwashed hands in their mouth. These habits allow many bacteria and virus to enter your childs digestive system.
Stomach flu causes tremendous stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. This can lead to further complication in your child. Some children might face stomach ache and a loss of appetite. Some might undergo vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes you child also might suffer from fever. The symptoms can be many and the cures are also plenty. There are many easily available home remedies which can you can adopt in order to make your child, feel better.
What To Feed A Toddler With Stomach Flu
You can safely feed the following food items to your toddler with stomach flu:
- Bananas can help control loose stools and are often recommended for children with stomach flu. Mash the banana and give small bites whenever your little one feels hungry.
- Apples are also light on the stomach and ensure your baby gets nutrition.
- Broth is great since it is mostly liquid. You can prepare a chicken or vegetable broth for your baby to replenish the essential micronutrients that are lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
- Oats and rice are mild on the stomach and are easier to digest. You can mash boiled rice and give it to the toddler. Oats are rich in fiber and free of gluten. They keep your little ones tummy full for longer.
- Crackers and toast make an excellent snack for toddlers with gastroenteritis. You can give them between meals.
- Yogurt is a probiotic and is often recommended for adults with stomach flu. The good thing about it is that you can give it your child too. You can introduce yogurt at the age of nine months. Start with small quantities and slowly make it a part of the babys meals. Do note you can give cows milk to a child only after the age of 12 months .
Feed your baby or toddler only when they are receptive to food. Feed them small portions over a few intervals but do not force-feed them. Excess feeding can induce vomiting and make the condition worse. Treatment, along with home care, is essential to halt the progress of stomach flu and prevent complications.
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Treating Toddler Stomach Bugs 5 Common Mistakes
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Toddlers are prone to illness and tummy bugs are especially common in children under the age of five. If youre new to parenthood, its common to panic the first time your little one is struck by vomiting and diarrhea. However, the majority of the time these tummy upsets are nothing to be concerned about. While you should always consult a doctor if symptoms persist, it is usually possibly to safely eliminate the bug yourself.
Before you do attempt to soothe your toddlers symptoms, its worth noting that there are a few common mistakes parents often make which can actually cause the bug to get worse. Dont worry if youve tried them, it doesnt make you a bad parent!
The 5 common mistakes below are often unknowingly recommended by friends and family. Even if you have tried them, being aware of these mistakes will help you to avoid them the next time your little one develops a stomach bug.
What Is The Stomach Flu
The stomach flu isnt actually the flu and it isnt caused by the same influenza viruses that normally cause the flu. The real flu attacks your breathing system nose, throat, and lungs. The stomach flu goes straight and mercilessly for the intestines.
The stomach flu is usually caused by one of three viruses:
21 million people the stomach flu every year. It also leads to about a million visits to the pediatrician every year in the United States.
These viruses act fast your child may get sick only a day or two after catching one. The stomach flu is also very contagious. If one child has it, chances are you and/or other children in your house will be sharing it within the week.
Other kinds of gastrointestinal infections are caused by bacteria. This includes food poisoning, which has slightly different symptoms than the stomach flu.
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Are Stomach Bugs Contagious
Gastroenteritis is quite contagious. It is spread through contact with body fluids that contain viral particles, bacteria, or parasites.
This contact is not always as obvious as changing diapers or cleaning up vomit. These particles can transfer by touching surfaces with unwashed hands, sharing food or utensils, and other unhygienic practices.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Flu In Kids
According to Dr. Tina Q. Tan, attending physician, Division of Infectious Diseases at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago, stomach flu symptoms typically appear 24-48 hours after exposure to the virus. Heres what to look for:
Nausea and vomiting.
With babies and toddlers, look for fever, fussiness, vomiting and diarrhea, Tan explains. They may not be able to verbalize nausea or abdominal cramping.
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How Is Vomiting Treated At Home
Stomach rest. Keep your child from eating or drinking for 30 to 60 minutes after vomiting. This gives your childs stomach a chance to recover.
Replacing fluids. Dehydration can be a problem when your child is vomiting. Start replacing fluids after your child has not vomited for 30 to 60 minutes. To do this:
Wait until your child feels well enough to ask for a drink. Dont force your child to drink if he or she still feels unwell. And dont wake your child to drink if he or she is sleeping.
Start by giving your child very small amounts of fluid every 5 to 10 minutes. Use a teaspoon instead of a glass to give fluids.
Use water or another clear, noncarbonated liquid. Breast milk may be given if your child is breastfeeding.
If your child vomits the fluid, wait at least another 30 minutes. Then start again with a very small amount of fluid every 5 to 10 minutes.
If your child is having trouble swallowing liquids, offer frozen juice bars or ice chips.
Oral rehydration solution may be used if your child is dehydrated from repeated vomiting. You can buy rehydration solution at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Stay away from sports drinks. They have too much sugar.
Solid food. If your child is hungry and asking for food, try giving small amounts of a bland food. This includes crackers, dry cereal, rice, or noodles. Avoid giving your child greasy, fatty, or spicy foods for a few days as your child recovers.
Can Gastroenteritis Be Prevented
Germs that cause gastroenteritis are contagious. The best way to avoid the illness is to keep the germs from spreading:
- Teach all family members to wash their hands well and often. They should wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This is especially important after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.
- Clean tabletops, doorknobs, and other surfaces that get touched a lot with a cleaner that kills viruses.
- Follow food safety guidelines to prevent bacteria and viruses from getting into food and drinks .
- Make sure your kids get all recommended immunizations on time.
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You Forget To Be Vigilant About Sanitizing
Wrong Move You become lax about hand-washing and sanitizing once your child improves.
Better Bet Stay vigilant about good hygiene. The virus can remain in your child’s intestine for several weeks after his symptoms are gone. So have him sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice when he washes his hands to ensure he does a thorough job after every trip to the bathroom. If he’s still in diapers, scrub your hands after each change. Don’t share towels, drinks, or food with your child. And since germs can live on places like doorknobs and toys for several hours or even days, clean or disinfect them regularly.
Hydrate Hydrate And Hydrate
Especially if your child is having lots of diarrhea, you really need to make sure they stay hydrated.
Be careful not to offer them too many fluids if they are throwing up, and actually try to stay clear of food or drink in the midst of continuous vomiting.
If it has been a while with no more throwing up, encourage them to take small sips of water.
I remember as a child, after I was finally done throwing up more times I could count, I would be so thirsty, because my mouth would be so dry.
I would want to drink a whole glass of water. Thankfully my Mum knew that would result in the liquid coming right back up. She would make me sip water or even a little sprite.
After your child is on the mend, you could find a new sippy cup or water bottle with a character on it they might like. You can say this is their âspecial cupâ that will help them get better, but they need to stay hydrated and drink.
A little incentive is okay, right?!
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.
When Should I Call The Doctor
- cant drink for several hours
- is peeing less often
- has signs of dehydration, such as crying with few or no tears, having a dry mouth or cracked lips, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, acting very sleepy or less alert
- has a high fever
- has blood in their poop or vomit
- is vomiting for more than 24 hours or the diarrhea doesnt get better after several days
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Viral Gastroenteritis In Children
Viral gastroenteritis is often called stomach flu. But itâs not really related to the flu or influenza. Itâs irritation of the stomach and intestines due to infection with a virus. Most children with viral gastroenteritis get better in a few days without a healthcare providers treatment. Because a child with gastroenteritis may have trouble keeping fluids down, he or she is at risk for fluid loss and should be watched closely.
Getting Medical Advice For Your Child
You don’t usually need to see your GP if you think your child has gastroenteritis, as it should get better on its own, and taking them to a GP surgery can put others at risk.
Phone the 111 service or your GP if you’re concerned about your child, or they:
- have symptoms of dehydration, such as passing less urine than normal, being unusually irritable or unresponsive, pale or mottled skin, or cold hands and feet
- have blood in their poo or green vomit
- are vomiting constantly and are unable to keep down any fluids or feeds
- have had diarrhoea for more than a week
- have been vomiting for three days or more
- have signs of a more serious illness, such as a high fever , shortness of breath, rapid breathing, a stiff neck, a rash that doesn’t fade when you roll a glass over it or a bulging fontanelle
- have a serious underlying condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a weak immune system, and have diarrhoea and vomiting
Your GP may suggest sending off a sample of your child’s poo to a laboratory to confirm what’s causing their symptoms. Antibiotics may be prescribed if this shows they have a bacterial infection.
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