Stomach Flu in Kids & Todlers: What To Expect


In case your youngster all of a sudden has an assault of diarrhea and vomiting, and so they complain of a stomachache, chances are you’ll assume to your self, “abdomen flu.”

No, probably not.

What’s typically known as “abdomen flu” is gastroenteritis, an an infection of the abdomen and intestines. The flu, or influenza, is totally different. It causes sore throats, runny noses, and common aches and pains. It hardly ever causes abdomen issues.

Viral infections are the same old reason behind gastroenteritis. Micro organism can generally convey it on.

The illness normally passes in about 10 days with out treatment. The primary few days are usually the worst, however you may take steps to assist your youngster get via it.

Keep well-hydrated. The largest hazard from gastroenteritis is dehydration. Because of the vomiting and diarrhea, your kid’s physique loses extra fluids than it takes in. So crucial factor you are able to do is hold your youngster hydrated, says Andrew Nowalk, MD, PhD. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Kids’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Not simply any fluid will do. Water is sweet, however in some circumstances, it will not be sufficient. It will not exchange the vital electrolytes (salt, sugars, and minerals) your kid’s physique loses when it is dehydrated.

Drinks that do exchange salt and minerals are known as electrolyte options or oral rehydration options. You should buy them at your native drugstore. They will even be bottle-fed to infants.

Some sports activities drinks promise to interchange electrolytes as nicely. They’ve lots of sugar however are OK for many school-age youngsters and youngsters. They don’t seem to be a good suggestion for very younger youngsters, although, says Peggy Pelish, PhD. She’s an affiliate professor with the College of Nebraska Medical Middle School of Nursing.

Maintain youngsters away from milk. It might make abdomen issues worse. Medical doctors advocate clear fluids. In case you’re the guardian of a younger child, discuss together with your physician about breastfeeding or formula.

Drinks which have lots of acid (orange juice) or caffeine can even trigger stomach issues and discomfort.

An excessive amount of of even the proper of liquid could make vomiting worse if given too quickly, so take it gradual at first and ensure it doesn’t make the issue worse. Attempt 1 teaspoon each 4 to five minutes, Nowalk says.

Introduce meals slowly. As soon as your youngster can drink liquid and hold it down, you can begin including meals. However hold it bland. Attempt bananas, bread, rice, applesauce, and toast first. Rooster noodle soup and crackers are additionally good decisions. As soon as you understand these are happening OK, you may attempt lean meat and cooked greens.

Do not give your sick youngster meals which are fried, spicy, fatty, or have lots of acid. They will make abdomen issues worse.

Skip over-the-counter meds. With gastroenteritis, time actually is one of the best medication. When your youngster is sick, chances are you’ll be tempted to present them over-the-counter medicines. As arduous as it could be, do not do it. Not solely will most medicines not assist, they might even make it worse. The vomiting and diarrhea are the physique’s technique to combat the an infection by eliminating every little thing. You don’t wish to cease that course of. Simply be certain that your youngster stays hydrated.

Ibuprofen can upset your kid’s abdomen much more, and acetaminophen may cause liver issues. Antibiotics do not assist in opposition to viruses (though they do in opposition to micro organism). And anti-diarrhea or anti-vomiting medicines could make the an infection last more. They can be harmful for very younger youngsters.

There’s one exception: In case your youngster has a fever, you can provide them acetaminophen or ibuprofen to convey it down. However do not give ibuprofen to somebody with an upset abdomen, as it may well additional upset the abdomen. Apart from that, follow fluids and bland meals.

Most circumstances of gastroenteritis go away on their very own. See the physician if the vomiting and diarrhea proceed various days, or for those who discover any indicators of dehydration like:

  • Not urinating
  • Dry mouth (no saliva)
  • Crying with out tears
  • Fever over 102 F
  • Lack of vitality
  • Crankiness
  • Smooth spot on the highest of the newborn’s head is sunken.
  • Blood or pus in stool or vomit, or having a darkish, tarry stool

Your youngster could have to get checked sooner in the event that they produce other situations, akin to diabetes, that put them at increased danger for fluid loss.

Observe these simple steps:

  • Get your youngster vaccinated in opposition to rotavirus, which is the most typical reason behind gastroenteritis.
  • Wash arms typically with heat cleaning soap and water, particularly while you use the toilet, change diapers, and earlier than and after you deal with meals. “Good cleaning soap and water hand-washing might be our greatest safety,” Nowalk says.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruit earlier than consuming them. Prepare dinner eggs, fish, and meat during. This will forestall gastroenteritis attributable to micro organism.

If the diarrhea doesn’t go away, has blood in it, or for those who and your youngster have been just lately touring internationally to sure elements of the world, your physician could have to run some assessments and will prescribe antibiotics.

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