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 .
Can Gastroenteritis Be Prevented
Germs that cause gastroenteritis are contagious. That 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.
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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When Should You Call For Help
anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- Your child passes out .
- Your child seems very sick or is hard to wake up.
or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child has new or worse belly pain.
- Your child has a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
- Your child has signs of needing more fluids. These signs include sunken eyes with few tears, a dry mouth with little or no spit, and little or no urine for 6 hours.
- Your child vomits blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
- Your childs vomiting gets worse.
Watch closely for changes in your childs health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- The vomiting is not better in 1 day .
- Your child does not get better as expected.
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How To Use It:
Adults: As soon as you exhibit signs of a stomach bug or someone near you does, take 2 capsules with a full glass of water as often as every 2 hours. Take up to 17 capsules a day. Discontinue vitamins because youll just waste them. I believe once you are exposed to a bug/virus, you should go easy on your stomach. Dont bombard it with food, especially rich or spicy food. Skip your supplements and start drinking a TON of water. One side effect of taking A.C. can be constipation. Adding extra water while you are taking the pill will help combat that.
Children: Kiddos under 3 SHOULD NOT take activated charcoal. Most kiddos cant swallow a pill so putting 1 capsule in ice water will work-Id suggest putting it in a sippy cup that they cant see through-It doesnt taste like anything so if they cant see the black water, they might just drink it! Even if they drink it over a period of a couple days, I believe its worth it. My girls actually liked it.
I found my Activated Charcoal HERE.
If you are on medication be aware that the activated charcoal most likely will intercept the medication. Consult your doctor if you are concerned. Oh and just FYI-some emergency vehicles carry A.C. for people that have been poisoned and must have their stomach pumped. Also, it is used to extract venom from snakes and spiders!
I would not take activated charcoal for more then 3-4 days at a time.
Go HERE for more in-depth info. as well as precautions of activated charcoal.
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Who Can And Cannot Take Loperamide
You can buy loperamide from pharmacies and supermarkets or you can get it on prescription.
Loperamide is available to buy without a prescription for:
- anyone aged 12 and older with short-term diarrhoea
- an adult with IBS diarrhoea, but only if a doctor has diagnosed IBS. If you are not sure whether you have IBS, talk to your doctor
It’s available on prescription only for:
- children again 11 years and younger
- young people aged 12 to 17 years with IBS or long-lasting diarrhoea
- adults with long-lasting diarrhoea
- tablets and capsules that contain 2mg of loperamide
- liquid that contains 1mg of loperamide in a 5ml spoonful
The recommended dose depends on the type of diarrhoea you have and your age.
Adults , with short-term diarrhoea or IBS
The usual starting dose is:
- capsules or tablets: take 2 capsules or tablets, taken immediately. Then take 1 capsule or tablet after each runny poo.
- liquid: four 5ml spoonfuls, taken immediately. Then take 2 spoonfuls after each runny poo.
Stop taking loperamide as soon as your symptoms settle down.
The recommended maximum dose in 24 hours is:
- 6 capsules or tablets, if you buy loperamide from a shop
- 8 capsules or tablets, or 16 spoonfuls of liquid , if you have a prescription or buy loperamide from a pharmacy
Do not take loperamide for more than 48 hours without talking to a doctor.
Adults with long-lasting or recurring diarrhoea
Your doctor will adjust your dose according to your symptoms and how well loperamide is working, up to a maximum of:
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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What Helps A Stomach Infection In A Toddler
Try bananas, bread, rice, applesauce, and toast first. Chicken noodle soup and crackers are also good choices. Once you know those are going down OK, you can try lean meat and cooked vegetables. Dont give your sick child foods that are fried, spicy, fatty, or have a lot of acid.
When To Call The Doctor
- Vomit has blood, dark brown specks that look like coffee grounds or is bright green.
- Vomiting gets more severe or happens more often.
- Your child shows signs of dehydration :
- No wet diaper or does not urinate for 6 or more hours, very dark urine
- No tears when crying
- Soft spot on babys head is flat, sunken or pulls in.
- Constant abdominal pain
- Hard to wake up , acts confused or does not know what they are doing.
- Your child has a high fever. Use a digital thermometer and wash thoroughly after each use.
- for age 3 months or younger, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher.
- for any age, a temperature over 102°F that lasts more than 2 days. Take rectal, ear or axillary temperatures in infants 4 months of age or older. When your child reaches 4 years of age, oral temperatures are OK.
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Are There Any Complications That Can Occur From Gastroenteritis
Complications from gastroenteritis in children are uncommon in the UK. They are more likely in very young children. They are also more likely if your child has an ongoing illness such as diabetes, or if their immune system is not working fully. For example, if they are taking long-term steroid medication or they are having chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Possible complications include the following:
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?!
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First Off Dont Be Quick To Reduce Your Childs Fever
To begin with, donât rush to the medicine cupboard and be quick to administer childrenâs Tylenol or Motrin to bring your childâs fever down.
If your child is running a fever, DONâT suppress it. Fevers are actually very beneficial in aiding the body to repair and heal itself.
If fevers scare you, donât worry, they scared me at one point too. But now I have a complete understanding and knowledge around fevers I donât fear them anymore and feel a lot more in control and at ease if my child has one.
Check this post out âReasons why a fever is good for your childâs bodyâ to learn more about why you shouldnât 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 childâs fever and if absolutely necessary I do prefer dye-free childrenâs 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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How Norovirus Is Spread
Norovirus can spread very easily.
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
Will My Child Need Any Medicines For Gastroenteritis
Do not give your child medicines to reduce diarrhoea. They do not work and may be harmful.
Your doctor may occasionally prescribe a medicine for vomiting. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
You cannot treat viral gastro with antibiotics. The body will clear out the virus on its own without treatment.
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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.
Urgent Advice: Contact Your Gp Or If Your Gp’s Closed Phone 111 For Urgent Advice If Your Child:
- is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C or above
- is over 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or above
- has persistent vomiting
- is refusing to feed
Always trust your instincts and phone 999 if you think there’s an emergency.
If your child seems to be otherwise well for example, if they’re playing and attentive it’s less likely they’re seriously ill.
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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 childs 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 hes still in diapers, scrub your hands after each change. Dont 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.
How You Get Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by eating something that has been contaminated with germs.
This can happen if food:
- is not cooked or reheated thoroughly
- is not stored correctly for example, it’s not been frozen or chilled
- is left out for too long
- is handled by someone who’s ill or has not washed their hands
- is eaten after its “use by” date
Any type of food can cause food poisoning.
Food poisoning is usually caused by:
- campylobacter bacteria the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK
- salmonella bacteria
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