Stomach Flu in Children

Stomach issues like gastroenteritis or stomach flu are common in children. Learn some causes of stomach flu in children and how to respond to symptoms.

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What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, is the infection of the intestines. Stomach flu in kids may be caused by food poisoning if your child ate food that was improperly cooked or handled, such as cooked food that has gone bad (infected by germs or bacteria). Other causes of stomach flu in children include viral infections, such as from rotavirus.


Stomach Flu Symptoms Your Child May Experience

Diarrhoea (frequent, loose watery stools)
Vomiting
Stomach cramps or pain
Fever (may or may not be present)


How to Treat Stomach Flu in Children

One of the dangers of gastroenteritis is dehydration due to frequent vomiting and/or diarrhoea leading to loss of fluids from the body. Let your child drink more water and rest as much as he can.

Do note that if your child is vomiting, avoid giving him large amounts of water at one go as it is likely to trigger more vomiting. Instead, give him small, frequent sips of water.

Avoid giving your child milk as gastroenteritis may reduce the intestines’ ability to digest lactose in milk, resulting in more stomach aches and diarrhoea. Instead, let him drink fluids such as water, barley water, rice water or rehydration fluids as advised by your doctor. Don’t worry if your child lacks the appetite for solid food for a while. Adequate fluid intake is more important.

Look out for signs that your child may be dehydrated, such as if he has not urinated for many hours, or his lips and tongue are very dry and he seems very lethargic. If you notice these symptoms, please bring your child to the Emergency Room immediately.


Learn more about the other common conditions that children face: 
Asthma
Fever


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Stomach Flu in Children

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