How To Give Liquids
When your child is vomiting:
- Offer clear liquids after your child has not vomited for 30 to 60 minutes. This allows the stomach to rest.
- Breastfeeding should not be stopped. Try to nurse your baby more often.
- If needed, you can stop giving formula if giving ORS. Aim to restart formula as soon as possible.
- Start slow . Give small sips of liquids often. This may reduce the vomiting.
- For children under 1 year: use a spoon or syringe to give 1 to 2 teaspoons every few minutes .
- For older than 1 year: give ½ to 1 ounce every 20 minutes for a few hours.
- As your child begins to take liquids, gradually increase the amount. If they still vomit, wait 30 to 60 minutes and start again.
- Do not force your child to drink or wake them up to drink if they are sleeping.
- Do not give any kind of milk or yogurt drinks until the vomiting has stopped for 8 hours.
When Kids Get Stomach Bugs Preventing Dehydration Is Priority No 1
This time of year, we pediatricians are inundated with all sorts of sick kids. Colds, influenza and a host of other respiratory illnesses fill our waiting rooms with mucus and coughs. We also tend to see lots of intestinal viruses, and nothing is less fun for a parent than caring for a child with constant vomiting and diarrhea.
What about stomach flu?First and foremost, stomach flu is not really flu. We reserve the term flu for cases of influenza virus, which tends to show up in Oregon right about now. It involves high fevers, muscle aches and bad respiratory symptoms think of it as a cold on steroids.
What lots of folks call stomach flu we call viral gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestinal tract. It is generally caused by a host of different viruses.
What does viral gastroenteritis look like?
The most important thing to pay attention to when your child is vomiting and has diarrhea is preventing dehydration. If kids are losing lots of fluid, and not able to keep their tanks full, they can get pretty sick, and the younger the kid, the more risky it can be. However, if you can help your child keep up with their losses, then everything will be fine.
Most gastroenteritis starts with vomiting. Usually, it is just the stomach contents, but sometimes it includes mucus, or even some yellowish-looking stuff. As long as there is no blood or bright green substance, the child will likely be OK.
What can parents do?
Can medicines help?
Now lets talk fluids
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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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.
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.
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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.
What Every Parent Needs To Know About The Stomach Bug
In workplaces, classrooms, daycare centers and on public transportation, the germs that cause the stomach bug can spread quickly, especially during the winter months. While we cant avoid these places, we can do our best to prevent the spread of germs and, in the event that you or your child does get sick, treat the illness at home.
Dr. Ijeoma Madueke, a primary care provider at Brigham and Womens Primary Physicians at Brigham and Womens Faulkner Hospital says, The stomach bug or stomach flu is used to describe an illness that most commonly includes vomiting and diarrhea. Medically, this is referred to as gastroenteritis.
The most common cause of gastroenteritis is one of several viruses. These germs spread from person to person, sometimes through objects such as telephones, door handles and anything else that multiple hands may touch. One particular virus that we hear about in the news is Norovirus. Norovirus is often responsible for outbreaks in school classrooms or workplaces since it is very contagious and can be especially severe with symptoms lasting for three days or more, says Dr. Madueke. Symptoms of gastroenteritis can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, fever, tiredness and just not feeling well.
Dr. Madueke explains the things every parent needs to know about gastroenteritis:
2. Treatment at home
3. When to call your doctor
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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.
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
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When Would My Doctor Not Prescribe Zofran For Nausea For My Children
Now, not every doctor will prescribe Zofran. It is, after all, their final decision to prescribe it or not.
In fact, the last time I took a child in for stomach flu-like symptoms, my kids doctor decided against prescribing us any Zofran for that particular case. But you know what? Things worked out just fine even if there was some continued vomit.
The fact that my childrens pediatrician was willing to evaluate the case on a case by case basis was a great testament to his skill and bedside manner. Yes, hell prescribe medicines that will help. But hes also weighing that against potential negative side effects. So just because your doctor says no to prescribing Zofran isnt a bad thing.
That being said, Zofran is being prescribed at a much higher rate by emergency department physicians. Why? Because we were trying to use a less invasive treatment to manage the vomiting and potential dehydration. Kids would much rather take medicine than get IV fluids!
So, if the vomiting isnt too bad, your doctor may recommend you wait it out more at home. However, if its getting too severe, they may opt to skip the Zofran and go straight to IV fluids. Or maybe theyll take a middle road. Its all going to depend on how ill your child is which is just the way it should be.
Children With Gastroenteritis Must Keep Drinking
If your child has gastroenteritis, make sure they drink clear fluids . Babies under 6 months old can become ill quickly with gastro they need extra fluids to replace fluids lost by diarrhoea and vomiting.
If you are breastfeeding, continue to do this. If bottle feeding, give clear fluids for the first 12 hours, then give the normal formula in smaller, more frequent amounts.It is important for the fluids to be taken even if the diarrhoea seems to get worse. It will help if you:
- Offer babies a drink every time they vomit.
- Give older children a drink after every big vomit or bout of diarrhoea.
- Give small amounts of fluids often if your child is vomiting a lot .
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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
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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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.
Rotavirus And Stomach Flu: Everything You Need To Know
Grab your barf bucket, steel your nerves, and let our guidelines help you through rotavirus or the stomach flu.
There you are, minding your own business, when suddenly it happens: Your kid pukes on your shoes. And now you see the next few days of your life will be dominated by barf, saltine crackers, and the worry that everyone in the house will also fall ill. Here’s how to handle two of the most common stomach issues: gastroenteritis and rotavirus.
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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.
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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Replace Lost Fluids And Electrolytes
When you have viral gastroenteritis, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration or treat mild dehydration. You should drink plenty of liquids. If vomiting is a problem, try sipping small amounts of clear liquids.
Most adults with viral gastroenteritis can replace fluids and electrolytes with liquids such as
Eating saltine crackers can also help replace electrolytes.
If your child has viral gastroenteritis, you should give your child an oral rehydration solutionsuch as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, and CeraLyteas directed to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes. Talk with a doctor about giving these solutions to your infant. Infants should drink breast milk or formula as usual.
Older adults, adults with a weakened immune system, and adults with severe diarrhea or symptoms of dehydration should also drink oral rehydration solutions.
Immediate Action Required: Call 999 Or Go To A& e If You Or Your Child:
- vomit blood or have vomit that looks like ground coffee
- have green or yellow-green vomit
- might have swallowed something poisonous
- have a stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights
- have a sudden, severe headache or stomach ache
- Severe pain:
- always there and so bad it’s hard to think or talk
- you cannot sleep
- it’s very hard to move, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash or dress
- Moderate pain:
- makes it hard to concentrate or sleep
- you can manage to get up, wash or dress
- Mild pain:
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How To Prevent The Stomach Flu
Obviously, you want to keep your family from getting sick. “It only takes a few virus particles to infect someone, and there are billions in just a drop of vomit or diarrhea,” says Aron Hall, a researcher for at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Diseases, in Atlanta. However, you can take steps to prevent a full-scale invasion.
Get vaccinated. Your baby will get two or three doses of the rotavirus vaccine , which protects against 85 to 98 percent of severe rotavirus illness. However, there is no vaccine against norovirus.
The vaccine only prevents the four most common strains, so kids who have been vaccinated can still catch different types of rotavirus or other bugs that cause stomach flu. However, symptoms will likely be less severe in children who’ve been vaccinated, says Stanley Cohen, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care in Atlanta, Georgia.
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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.
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