Stomach Bug Symptoms In Children
Common symptoms of a stomach virus in children include:
- Low-grade fever
- Weight loss
Symptoms may last for five to seven days or longer. Giardiasis can be acute or it can become chronic . Its possible for children to show no symptoms initially. Parasitic infections usually occur seven to 14 days after exposure and have long-lasting symptoms without treatment. Vomiting is rare with parasitic infections.
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.
First Off Dont Be Quick To Reduce Your Childs Fever
To begin with, dont rush to the medicine cupboard and be quick to administer childrens Tylenol or Motrin to bring your childs fever down.
If your child is running a fever, DONT suppress it. Fevers are actually very beneficial in aiding the body to repair and heal itself.
If fevers scare you, dont worry, they scared me at one point too. But now I have a complete understanding and knowledge around fevers I dont fear them anymore and feel a lot more in control and at ease if my child has one.
Check this post out Reasons why a fever is good for your childs body to learn more about why you shouldnt be scared of fevers and you SHOULD let them run their course.
Obviously, you must always do what you feel is right and do your own research and gain your own understanding. You can monitor your childs fever and if absolutely necessary I do prefer dye-free childrens Motrin over Tylenol.
With that being said, it is known that ibuprofen can be harder on the stomach, which in this case I would do my best to avoid all OTC medicines where I can or use a homeopathic fever reducer.
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What Causes A Stomach Virus In A Toddler
If your toddler has a stomach bug, you can probably determine it is gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis happens when germs infect the stomach or intestines and then cause vomiting or diarrhea. When it comes to children, Nemours Kids Health notes that gastroenteritis is most commonly caused by a virus that is shared either through touching something that has been infected, sharing a drink or food with someone who has the virus, or just living with someone who may also be sick. Gastroenteritis is typically caused by either the norovirus, rotavirus. or adenovirus. Norovirus is the most common culprit in children under the age of five. Fortunately, most stomach bugs will go away in a few days and wont require any special medical treatment. Stomach bugs are incredibly contagious so youre going to want to ensure youre disinfecting areas where your toddler has been. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using soap, water, and in harder to clean areas a diluted bleach solution to try to prevent the spread of the virus.
Other Conditions: Dehydration And Malnutrition
While most digestive illnesses pass quickly, vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours can cause serious complications, such as dehydration and malnutrition. Children experience these complications much more quickly than adults do. So, keep a close eye on your child and call your doctor if the symptoms persist.
The stomach flu can be a nasty bug. However, by keeping a close eye on your child’s symptoms you can help to contain this illness and prevent complications. If you have questions about the stomach flu, call your doctor.
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Stomach Pain Around The Belly Button
Stomach pain around or near a child’s belly button is usually nothing to worry about. It’s one of the most common stomach pain complaints among kids.
“Children often rub their bellies when they hurt and complain about general pain around the belly button,” says Dr. Mehta. “This type of stomach pain is typically caused by stress or eating something that didn’t quite agree with them.”
If your child is complaining about stomach pain near the belly button, you can:
- Encourage them to lay down and rest
- Check to see if they need to poop
- Offer a glass of water
- Try distracting them by reading a book together or playing a quiet game
Home Remedies For Stomach Flu In Kids
Other than staying hydrated and eating a BRAT diet you can also try the following:
Once again to summarize for you,
I hope these tips help you out in the unfortunate event your child has the stomach flu.
Try not to stress too much, our kids pick up on our stress, which only makes them feel worse.
Stay vigilant, monitor the progress of the illness and most importantly provide your kids with more love and some encouraging words to help them stay positive through the illness.
Do you have some home remedies for stomach flu that worked for your kids? Let me know what worked for you, leave me a comment below. Share this post with other moms you know.
Until next time, Ciao!
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How Do You Treat A Child’s Stomach Virus
The best ways to treat the stomach flu in kids are hydration and rest. “For hydration, use a rehydration solution that’s available in any store and over the counter,” says Dr. Rojas. “Start with small sips and increase gradually, so they don’t vomit it up.”
Water alone may not be enough to rehydrate kids safely, especially younger children. Kids lose electrolytes when they vomit or have diarrhea. This can lead to low sodium in the blood, a dangerous situation. A rehydration solution, like Pedialyte, replenishes fluids and electrolytes. Broth can also be helpful.
You can also make a rehydration solution at home by combining 4 ¼ cups of water, 6 teaspoons of sugar and a ½ teaspoon of salt.
Dr. Rojas also recommends lots of rest for children. Rest can help the digestive system settle and heal.
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:
- Fever .
- Abdominal cramping.
- 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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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
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.
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Stomach Pain In The Upper Abdomen
If your child is complaining about pain in their upper abdomen, they may be experiencing indigestion. Telltale signs of indigestion include:
- Pain in the middle of the upper belly
“Indigestion may be the cause, if your child complains about pain in their upper belly, especially if it happens after eating certain foods,” says Dr. Mehta.
If your child has pain in the upper right side of their abdomen, this could also be a sign of gallstones. Gallstones are more common in adults than in children, but some children may be more at risk for developing gallstones including children with obesity, children with certain health conditions including sickle cell disease, and children with a family history of gallstone disease.
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.
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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.
What To Do When Your Child Is Throwing Up
Your normally happy and playful 2-year-old has not been himself all day. Hes been clingy, fussy, and has refused to eat his favorite foods. Then out of nowhere, he starts throwing up what you think was breakfast. It doesnt stop there. For the next three hours, he throws up every 10 minutes. This is replaced by dry-heaving until he finally falls asleep, exhausted. You are naturally worried. Here are some guidelines that will get you through the night when dealing with unexplained vomiting in children.
NOTE: Vomiting in an infant 2 months or younger is very different than toddlers or children.
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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.
What Causes Gastroenteritis
Many of the germs that cause gastroenteritis spread easily. So someone can get sick if they:
- Touch something contaminated and then touch food or their mouth.
- Live with someone whos infected, even if that person isnt sick.
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Is It Really The Flu
If it’s a cold, your toddler may feel somewhat worse than usual and have a:
- Low-grade fever
- Feel achy or have chills
- Throw up or have diarrhea
- Feel much sicker than when he has a cold
The symptoms can last about a week, sometimes two.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
You can help stop the spread of viruses and protect others by:
- Washing your hands often and after touching your child, their eating utensils, or anything that might have vomit on it. Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer .
- Make sure your child washes their hands well after using the toilet.
- Do not share eating utensils, toys or clothing. Wash them in hot, soapy water after each use.
- Use clean wipes or washcloths for each diaper change. Put diaper in the diaper pail or trash immediately.
- Clean hard surfaces with disinfectant or an antimicrobial wipe. Let dry for 15 seconds.
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Preventing The Stomach Flu
You might not be able to stop your child from catching the stomach flu but you can try. You can at least prevent it from happening as often.
The best way to prevent the stomach flu is wash your hands and wash them again. Teach your child how to wash their hands properly and to wash them often. Use warm water and soap. Set a timer or have your child sing as song so that they scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds.
Here are more ways to help prevent your child from catching and spreading the virus:
- Keep your sick child home and away from other children.
- Teach your child to wash their hands properly several times a day, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Show your child how they can cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inner side of their elbow when sneezing and coughing.
- Tell your child not to share drink boxes, bottles, spoons, and other eating utensils.
- Clean hard surfaces like counters and nightstands with a mixture of detergent, vinegar, and water. Some viruses can survive for up to 24 hours on hard surfaces and even on clothing.
- Wash your childs toys in warm soapy water regularly, especially if the stomach flu or other viruses are going around.
- Use separate bathroom towels for each family member.
Reasons To Call The Doctor
Your child’s stomach will probably get better on its own, but speak to your pediatrician right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
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