How To Treat Stomach Flu Infection In Children
[toc]Stomach bugs are the usual problems observed in children going to daycare, nursery schools and summer camps program, with a huge chance of catching up stomach flu or gastroenteritis. Young children have an immature immune system that is yet to develop immunity against various germs that surround all of us. Hence, they are at high risk of getting stomach flu infections. Stomach virus is contagious and gets transmitted through oral fecal route and is easily picked by sharing of utensils and food.
Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu infection) leads to inflammation of the inner lining of digestive tract and is caused by viruses, like adenovirus, astrovirus, rotavirus and calicivirus. It is the second common illness in US after respiratory infections. Toddlers, before the age of three, have possibility of suffering from stomach virus infection for at least two times in a year. Kids are known to boost their immunity after turning three and then this illness may not occur commonly, but still, it could happen.
5 Useful Ways To Treat Stomach Flu
Children suffering from stomach virus infection will show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, abdominal pain, aches and chills. The symptoms could be mild to severe and may last for a few hours to days, depending upon the virus. The child may feel quite sick for one or two days and then get recovered.
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Fluids And Electrolyte Replenishment
Since, there is no defined cure for stomach virus infection, children can be made to rest, sip more fluids like water or oral rehydration solutions that can normalize the electrolyte and fluid balance within the body. Once, the condition becomes better, include clear liquids like juices and chicken broth.
At the same time, keep the child away from sodas and high sugar drinks as these are hard to digest with possibility of damaging the intestinal linings.
As the condition improves a little, try starting on with bland foods of toast, crackers, rice, bananas, gelatin and plain noodles. Once the symptoms subside, children can made to eat normal routine foods as earlier. In case of mild infection, the child can continue to eat little amounts of food throughout the ill phase and may even not need oral rehydration solutions, if drinking adequate amounts of fluids and water.
Children can handle milk and milk products during stomach virus infection. Only, in a few cases, one may observe a problem with digestion of milk in children.
Inculcate Good Hygiene Habits
There is no vaccine available for stomach virus and hence, to prevent its occurrence in children, parents must develop good hygiene practices in children from young age only. Stomach virus infection is contagious and gets picked up from close contact with contaminated drinking water or food.
Children may also pick it up by coming in contact with fecal matter, infected with stomach virus and then putting unclean hands into their mouth. These viruses are microscopic, so even if the hands look clean they may still have the infective stomach virus.
Avoid Use Of Anti Diarrhea Medicines
Medications are not of use during stomach virus infection as like all viral infections, the stomach virus infection too has to complete its viral cycle and get over on its own. Never make the child depend on anti diarrhea medications as that will worsen the condition with probable severe consequences. Just manage it well at home itself with proper fluid diet and adequate rest.
When a child shows the classical signs of dehydration like sunken eyes, decreased urination, extreme thirst, dry lips, sleepiness, wrinkled skin, crying without tears, and discolored and cold feet and hands, it is the warning alarm of severe stomach flu infection.
There is a need for immediate medical attention or emergency. The doctor may recommend intravenous rehydration and will make the child stay at hospital, for a day or more till the condition is improved to manageable levels.
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