Getting Your Child through the Stomach Flu

Getting Your Child through the Stomach Flu

Stomach Flu Overview
The stomach flu is caused by a virus in the intestines and can be passed from person to person by direct contact or by sharing items such as utensils or toys. Your child can also develop the stomach flu by eating contaminated food.

Causes of stomach flu
Symptoms of the stomach flu that your child might experience include:

1.    Diarrhea
2.    Vomiting
3.    Abdominal cramps
4.    Fever
5.    Headache
6.    Nausea
7.    Weight loss and dehydration

Your child will begin to develop symptoms one to two days after exposure and the virus will usually last for two to seven days.

Keep them Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do for your child, besides giving them plenty of TLC, is to keep them hydrated. We understand this can be difficult with a cranky child but try to get them to drink as much clear caffeine free liquids as they can.

Sports drinks and Pedialyte will help keep your child hydrated and also replenish electrolytes, minerals, salts and sugar. Otherwise watered down juices and water are also good for your child.

What to Feed to a Sick Child
After vomiting and feeling awful your child most likely will not have an appetite. It is however important to try to get them to eat something.

Keep them away from rich or spicy foods that will most likely aggravate their stomach. Instead, stick to what is known as a BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast. Once they can keep this type of food down for a day or two, try introducing more solid foods until their appetite returns to normal.

When to Call the Doctor
If at any point your child has a dangerously high fever or blood in the stool or when vomiting, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Also if symptoms persist for more than three days and continually get worse, call your pediatrician.

Keeping the Rest of the Family Healthy
This virus is very contagious and can spread to other family members quit easily. The best thing you can do is make sure your family washes their hands frequently. Try to wash items like toys that your sick child might share with his/her siblings.

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