Safe Foods For A Toddler With An Upset Stomach
17 December, 2018
An upset stomach can make your toddler miserable.
Symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain, which can cause your toddler to become fussy and unable to sleep. In most cases, you must wait until the upset stomach has passed, but certain foods might help soothe his tummy and ease his discomfort. If your toddler’s upset stomach doesn’t begin to get better or gets worse, call his pediatrician right away.
Provide Plenty Of Fluids:
- Give your toddler small sips of liquids throughout the day. Do not let the child drink it all at once, as that can make them throw up.
- Babies who only breastfeed can have an extra feed of milk.
- Toddlers can have plain water as well as oral electrolyte solutions, also called oral rehydration salts , such as Pedialyte. Toddlers can be breastfed too.
- The amount of ORS you need to give your toddler depends on their weight. The World Health Organization suggests that you multiply the toddlers weight in kilograms with 75 to arrive at the volume of ORS you need in milliliters . Give the recommended amount of ORS over the first four hours. You can give more later if the child is still dehydrated.
- You can give the baby formula or breast milk, but avoid animal milk since the babys tummy can have problems digesting it .
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.
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How To Prevent Stomach Bugs In Kids
Good hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis. The key to preventing any viral illness is handwashing and disinfection, says Dr. Jain. This is especially important when parents, teachers, daycare workers, and babysitters are taking care of children who are dealing with a stomach bug. These viruses are extremely tenacious and can live on surfaces for days. Ways to help prevent all forms of gastroenteritis include:
- Help children wash hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water
- Practice food safety when preparing raw meat and refrigerating cooked foods
- Follow instructions regarding safe storage of bottles with breast milk or formula
- Use caution when traveling with regards to drinking water, raw produce, and swimming
- Sanitize toys, soiled surfaces and clothing appropriately with diluted bleach solution when necessary
- Keep sick childrenout of school or daycare until they are no longer contagious
If your child attends school or daycare, inform them promptly that your child has gastroenteritis so they can take proper sanitation measures.
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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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.
Things To Remember When Feeding A Sick Toddler
Losing one’s appetite when feeling sick is quite common, and it is not necessarily bad for the child. Sometimes, the stomach just needs a little rest to recover from a flu bug or something else. But how does a parent ensure that their toddler does not miss out on nutrients and calories while he/she is sick?
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What Foods Can A Child With A Stomach Virus Eat
Both Tan and Udeshi recommend bland foods for children who are sick with or recovering from gastroenteritis. If a child is able to eat, the bland foods of the BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce and toast are the traditional go-to for children with upset stomachs, Udeshi says. But other bland and easily digested foods are OK, as well.
According to Tan, these are foods children should avoid:
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
Foods that are high in fiber.
Greasy or spicy foods.
These are harder to digest and more likely to exacerbate stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea, Tan says.
You’re Too Quick To Reduce Her Fever
Wrong Move Your little one has a low-grade fever, so you give her something to bring it down.
Better Bet Weigh the pros and cons. An elevated temperature is a sign that your child’s immune system is working to fight the infection, so why not let her body do the work on its own? If her temperature exceeds 101?F and she’s feeling crummy, though, cooling her down might make her more receptive to drinking liquids. Stick with acetaminophen, since ibuprofen can further irritate the stomach. If your child is vomiting, Dr. Altmann suggests starting with half the recommended dose of acetaminophen for your child’s age give her the other half about an hour later . If your child is old enough, you can also try acetaminophen tablets that easily dissolve in her mouth. If she can’t keep the medicine down, another possible option is using an acetaminophen suppository.
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The Stomach Bug Strikes What To Feed My Toddler With The Stomach Flu
Its the bane of every parents existence. The stomach bug. In my experience with Elle, stomach viruses come out of nowhere. One minute your child is happy and playing and the next, its a night camped out on the bathroom floor.
This can happen because toddlers often cant identify what their bodies are telling them if they have never experienced it before. Sometimes their first time throwing up is frightening as they werent expecting it, so as parents, its up to us to explain. Reassuring your child that vomiting is normal when they arent well is important, especially if its going to keep happening.
Whether something didnt agree with your childs stomach or if theyre experiencing a stomach bug, there is always the moment when it comes time to test the waters. If Elle has stopped vomiting for 4-6 hours, isnt showing other symptoms, and is keeping down sips of water or electrolyte solutions, typically I take that as a sign she might be ready to try a little solid food.
How To Prevent The Spread Of Gastroenteritis
Good old-fashioned handwashing with soap and water is still the best defence against spreading gastroenteritis.
You can prevent the spread of gastroenteritis to other people if you:
- Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands regularly, especially after they use the toilet and before they eat.
- Wash your childs hands with warm water and soap after they use the toilet and before and after they eat.
- Wash your hands before you feed and after you change your childs nappies.
- Clean kitchen tops, toys, toilet seats, nappy change tables and taps to ensure you dont spread the infection to others at home.
- Keep your child away from others until 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped. If symptoms persist, visit your GP.
- Don’t allow your child to attend child care or school until 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.
- Teach your child good hand hygiene by showing them how to become a Soapy Hero!
Remember, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent gastroenteritis infection. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers while effective against some viruses , are not effective against gastroenteritis.
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Whats The Treatment For Stomach Flu In Kids
When it comes to vomiting in infants and children, Tan notes that theres really nothing thats recommended unless theyre becoming very dehydrated, in which case they should see a doctor . To make kids more comfortable at home during a bout of gastroenteritis, Tan advises the following:
Give small amounts of fluids frequently. This is the best way to keep children hydrated and keep up with fluid losses from the vomiting or diarrhea, she notes.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These can be used to bring down the fever and ease discomfort, Tan explains. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents and caregivers consult their doctor before giving medication to children 3 months or younger.
You Follow The Brat Diet After Your Child Is Better
Wrong Move Your child is back to eating, so for the next few days you follow the BRAT diet.
Better Bet Doctors now say that kids should resume their regular eating regimen as soon as they seem to be feeling better. “More than one day on the BRAT diet is too long,” Dr. Shu says. These foods do help restore normal digestion but lack the protein and other nutrients that she needs to recover. Still, avoid high-fat foods for several days and make sure she continues to drink lots of liquids until her symptoms are completely gone.
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What If Your Child Wont Eat When Sick
Just like you when you feel miserable, your sick toddler might not feel up to eating anything for a few days. Young children can become dehydrated quickly, so make sure they are getting sufficient fluids. For a sore throat, either warm or very cold liquids will be soothing. Hot chocolate, ice pops, warm broth, Jell-O, and diluted juice are all good choices.
Nutritious drinks will carry them over until their appetite returns. Once they are ready to eat, to get better faster make sure they get extra nutrients like from the foods mentioned above.
When Should I Call The Doctor About Stomach Flu In Children
It’s a good idea to call your pediatrician at the first onset of stomach flu symptoms. It’s especially important to call right away if your child has bloody diarrhea, excessive vomiting or a fever .
Also, contact your pediatrician right away or go to the emergency room if you notice any of these signs of severe dehydration which may need to be treated with intravenous fluids in the hospital:
- Your child is very lethargic or difficult to wake up
- Unusual fussiness
- Crying with few or no tears
- Infrequent urination or a dry diaper
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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.
How Do Children Catch The Stomach Flu
Stomach bugs are highly contagious. Playing with an infected child is the main way the virus spreads, since germs can live on toys and clothes for hours or even days. If the infection results from bacteria or parasites, your child may have consumed contaminated food or water .
What makes stomach flu particularly virulent is that children are contagious before they actually show any symptoms. Also, adults with their heartier immune systems may harbor the germs and pass them along without ever getting sick themselves.
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You Allow A Cup Of Juice Or Milk
Wrong Move Your child is keeping down liquids, so you give him a sippy cup of juice or milk.
Better Bet Avoid sugary liquids like fruit juice, which can aggravate your child’s stomach symptoms. If he asks to drink something other than water, try an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or Propel. Milk may be okay, but start with small amounts and see if his diarrhea gets worse after he drinks it. About 20 percent of the time, a stomach virus causes temporary lactose intolerance, which leads to abdominal pain, bloating, and cramping, according to Dr. Singla. If that happens with your child, switch to lactose-free milk until his stool returns to normal. You can also try feeding him probiotics or yogurt with live and active cultures, which will help restore the good bacteria in the intestines. It’s fine to nurse, since breast milk contains antibodies and nutrients that help the tummy heal.
Surviving The Stomach Flu In Kids And Toddlers
Most young children dont follow proper hygiene rules, it can be difficult as a parent to get them to wash their hands thoroughly. The end result is the common childhood disease, stomach flu. Stomach flu in kids is a nasty illness. Not only are our littles troubled with trying to keep any food inside, but that coupled with diarrhea leaves them exhausted and irritable.
Viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu is an intestinal infection caused by viruses like rotavirus and norovirus.
Stomach flu is caused by coming into contact with an infected person or contaminated food or water. Raw or undercooked food can also make one sick.
The first step to prevention is to maintain hygienic environments when cooking and preparing foods and drinking boiled or properly filtered water. Be especially cautious about where you eat outside the home. Look for restaurants that maintain good hygiene standards on-premises and in the kitchen. And yes, do not risk offering street food to toddlers and young children.
The most common stomach flu symptoms include
Since most of these symptoms are similar to a bacterial infection caused by E.coli or Salmonella, it is important to monitor the childs progress and stay vigilant about childs energy levels.
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How Do Doctors Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control severe vomiting. Doctors dont prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics dont work for viral infections.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes, most often bacteria, that are like the ones you normally have in your digestive tract. Studies suggest that some probiotics may help shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of dehydration should see a doctor right away. Doctors may need to treat people with severe dehydration in a hospital.
What Do You Feed A Child With The Stomach Flu
Once your child has stopped vomiting, they can start to eat foods again. The best foods after the stomach flu are the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.
“These foods are very easy to digest,” says Dr. Rojas. “Children can also have crackers, or grilled or boiled chicken.”
Children should avoid greasy, heavy or spicy foods for a few days after they experience vomiting. Avoiding dairy could also be beneficial due to a transient lactose intolerance after stomach flu, though infants should still breastfeed or have formula if able to tolerate.
Certain drinks, like apple juice or carbonated beverages, can make vomiting or diarrhea worse, so it’s best to stick to rehydration solution or plain water.
If your child has nausea or vomiting again, it’s best to stop the food until their stomach can settle.
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What Does Mild Mean
It’s been widely reported that Omicron seems to be causing less severe illness than previous variants. But this week, experts said that’s not a green light to let your guard down. “In the older age group, it’s still a nasty disease, even if it’s less than the Delta variant,” said Dr. Pamela Davis, a pulmonologist at Case Western Reserve University, on NPR Thursday. “You don’t get off scot-free just because you happen to be infected in the time of Omicron.”
“While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as ‘mild,'” said the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, this week. “Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people.”
In fact, this week COVID hospitalizations surpassed 125,000 nationwide, a high not seen since January 2021, before vaccinations were widely available.
That means it’s especially important to be aware of potential COVID symptoms, so you can take steps to prevent spreading the disease and to seek treatment if necessary.