Help Your Kids Get Sick Less Often With Probiotics
Probiotics are a toddler parents BFF. They help support your childs immune system, which can ultimately keep them from getting sick. And if your house is anything like mineyoull do anything to prevent them from getting sick AGAIN!
Using probiotics during a stomach bug can also decrease the duration of diarrhea by about a daywhich might not seem like a lot right now, but trust me. When theyre in the thick of being sick, 24 fewer hours of poop duty will sound like a DREAM! For both of you!
Infectious Gastroenteritis In Children
Gastroenteritis can spread quickly. Infectious gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. It is usually ingested through food or drink. Some of the common types of infectious gastroenteritis include:
- Escherichia coli infection
Children may not have all symptoms, but in general, gastroenteritis symptoms can include:
- loss of appetite
- bloody stools in some cases
- pus in stools in some cases
- generally feeling unwell including lethargy and body aches.
Does Lemon Water Help With Bloating
As a bonus, lemon juice helps to loosen the toxins floating around in your GI tract, relieve the painful symptoms that accompany indigestion, and even reduce the risk of burping and bloating resulting from excess gas production in your gut. Lemon water can keep your digestive system purring like a kitty all day long.
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Stomach Viruses In Kids & Toddlers
When your toddler gets a stomach bug, what they actually have is gastroenteritiswhich is just the fancy name for the stomach flu. Gastroenteritis is typically caused by inflammation in the stomach or intestines, which can be the result of infections from viruses, bacteria, or parasites. And despite what might feel intuitive, its actually not related to the seasonal flu!
- Low-grade fever
but your toddler doesnt have to have all these symptoms to be considered sick with the stomach flu!
What Can I Do If My Child Has The Stomach Virus
Treatment is mainly supportive and the most important thing to do is keep your child from getting dehydrated.
- Start with small, frequent sips of clear liquids . Avoid fruit juices they can make diarrhea worse!
- Once your child is able to keep clear liquids down for 6-12 hours, you can start them on a bland diet .
- Once they are tolerating the bland diet for 12 hours, you can progress to regular food slowly.
- If the diarrhea continues, try cutting out milk and other dairy products for a few days. Some kids will have trouble digesting milk and other dairy products and this can prolong the diarrhea.
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Common Causes Of Diarrhea And Vomiting In Kids
Like adults, sometimes kids just get sick. Its often caused by viral infections or eating something that irritated their digestive tract. If your older child complains of frequent stomach aches, it could be childhood anxiety. Talk with your pediatrician if you think that could be the case.
You should always call your childs doctor if their stomach pains seem severe, if they seem dehydrated, or if the vomiting and diarrhea persists. Acute diarrhea
and mild diarrhea can happen from time to time, but if its happening on a regular basis you may need to seek medical care. There are some medical conditions that can cause severe diarrhea in kids.
Can Stomachaches Be Prevented
Not all belly pain can be prevented. But to help avoid common types of stomachaches, everyone in the family should:
- Wash their hands before eating or preparing food, and after using the bathroom.
- Eat healthy portions, and try not to eat right before going to sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to keep food moving through the digestive system.
- Avoid foods that have passed their expiration date or weren’t stored properly.
- Avoid foods that make them sick if they have a food allergy or intolerance. If they have a food allergy, they should always have access to an epinephrine auto-injector, and should know when and how to use it if they are old enough.
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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.
What To Do If Your Child Wont Eat After Sickness
You might notice that your toddler doesnt have much of an appetite for a few days after their stomach bugand thats okay! Just like your toddler does, their appetite might need a few days to recover. If theyre resisting solid food or just want to pick at the same plain bread or crackers for a few days, its okay to let them listen to their bodies. Their appetite will come back!
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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.
The Dreaded Stomach Bug And How To Deal With It
Its scary when your child is throwing up! If your family falls prey to stomach viruses this year, we all know how horrible it can be. Luckily, it tends to go away in a few days leaving most of us wiped out, but okay. Children are smaller and have less ability to tolerate vomiting and diarrhea compared to adults. Therefore, they get dehydrated much quicker than grownups do.
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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.
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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Stomach Flu Causes And Risk Factors
What are stomach flu causes? A number of different viruses can cause viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu including noroviruses and rotaviruses. First, lets talk about the norovirus, which is said to be the number one cause of viral gastroenteritis in children and adults. If your stomach flu is caused by the norovirus, then the period during which you are contagious starts from the time you start to feel sick up until three days after you are better with some individuals being contagious as long as two weeks following their recovery. The norovirus causes stomach flu symptoms within a day or two of being exposed to the virus. On the plus side, most people who have the stomach flu due to norovirus feel better within 24 to 48 hours.
Another virus, the rotavirus, is the top cause of stomach flu in kids and infants, but it can also affect adults. Symptoms usually begin within one to three days of exposure. However, with this virus at the root, the stomach flu can be caught from someone before symptoms appear and even up to two weeks following recovery! Astrovirus and enteric adenovirus can also cause stomach flu.
How do you catch these viruses and end up with the stomach flu? The stool and vomit of infected individuals contain the viruses that cause stomach flu. The viruses that can cause a case of the stomach flu can easily spread from close contact with infected individuals through the following:
So how do you get rid of the stomach flu?
Dry Cereal Crackers And Pretzels
To avoid triggering nausea and vomiting during the stomach flu, dry foods like cereal, plain crackers, and pretzels are safe options .
Since theyre free of spices, low in fat, and low in fiber, theyre gentle on your tummy.
Theyre also made up of simple carbs, which are quickly and easily digested .
Whats more, these refined grains are often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, which may help you get closer to meeting your daily nutrient needs while ill .
Dry cereal, crackers, and pretzels may be better tolerated during the stomach flu, as theyre easy to digest, free of spices and low in fat and fiber.
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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.
Focus On Hydration & Electrolytes
Vomiting and diarrhea are unpleasant for so many reasons. They make your toddler feel terribleand theyre about the least-fun thing to deal with as a parent ever! But nutrition-wise, the main problem we have with them is the dehydration and potential electrolyte imbalance they can cause.
Vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration in two ways:
Signs of Dehydration in Sick Toddlers:
If your toddler has a stomach bug, watch for dehydration symptoms like:
- No tears when crying
- Dry mouth
- Sunken fontanels
Red flag alert: If your child shows signs of severe dehydration or is unable to keep any liquids or fluids down, seek medical attention right away. In some cases, IV treatment at the hospital could be needed.
Rehydration Tips & Tricks
According to Merck Manual, as long as this isnt a red-flag scenario, you can focus on rehydrating your child at home. Start with simple, easy-to-digest oral rehydration solutions. I like Kinderlyte or coconut water because they can replenish electrolytes and maintain hydration at the same time, but regular old water is great, too!
If your toddler child has diarrhea but isnt really vomitingnormal amounts of fluids can be offered. Theyll need to take in a good amount of extra water to replace any water lost from diarrhea, so its safe to give them several ounces every hour. If theyre not vomiting and can handle some food, thats a great idea, too!
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What A Toddler With An Upset Stomach Should Drink
- Electrolyte solutions. Electrolyte drinks are essential when your toddler has a stomach bug. We use Pedialyte in our house, though any electrolyte drink or sports drinks are great. I like that the Pedialyte comes in ready to use packets whenever illness strikes. The packets do not expire as quickly as the bottles.
- Fruit juice. You may wish to avoid citrus fruits if your child has a sore throat or upset stomach as citrus is very acidic. Some watered down juice might help settle their tummy.
- Ice pops. Popsicles are a good way to rehydrate your toddler, plus they feel like a treat. Pedialyte makes freeze pops that have electrolytes as well for extra rehydration.
- Coconut water. Like sports drinks, coconut water is loaded with electrolytes and vitamins.
- Ginger ale. Great for a stomach bug, ginger ale that is made with real ginger can help settle a tummy. If your child does not like the carbonation, stir the bubbles out with a spoon.
- Broth. Sipping on some broth can be soothing to an upset stomach and will help with hydration.
- Plain water. Back to the basics, sometimes plain water is all your childs stomach can handle.
The most important thing is that your child is getting plenty of fluids. If that means extra sugary drinks for a few days, thats OK. You can get back to your normal routine and regular diet once your child is feeling better.
What Naturally Reduces Bloating
Here are additional suggestions to decrease bloating: Eat slowly, and consume smaller, more frequent meals. Chew your foods well. Drink beverages at room temperature. Have your dentures checked for a good fit. Increase physical activity during the day. Sit up straight after eating. Take a stroll after eating.
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About Pediatrics Of Florence
We believe that children are more than just little adults. They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as kid friendly as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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Should A Child Eat Or Drink If They’re Vomiting
When children catch a stomach bug, vomiting is normal and it shouldn’t last more than 24 hours. On today’s Health Minute, pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner explains why you should not force children to eat after they’ve vomited, and gives tips for keeping your child hydrated.
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What Is The Brat Diet
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Its the diet pediatricians have been recommending for a long time when feeding a toddler with a stomach thats sensitive or recovering from a stomach bug. But recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics has moved away from recommending itat least as the only suggestion for feeding.
Let me be super clear: the BRAT diet isnt bad, and you dont have to stress if youve used it before or still like using it now! It can be useful in feeding sick kiddos because it gives their irritated stomachs a much-needed rest. And, the foods included in the BRAT diet are often preferred or safe foods for kids with low appetites. I just want you to know that the BRAT diet isnt a requirement or something prescriptive that you must follow when your child is ill.
If your toddler has a stomach bug and you know the BRAT diet works for them, great! But if youd rather expand on those four limited options a bit, you could absolutely do that, too. I like to add in easy-to-digest options like cooked cereal, crackers, chicken, turkey, mashed potatoes, and any other foods that can be easily tolerated.