Food Poisoning in Children

What is food poisoning? Learn about signs of food poisoning and food poisoning treatments, so you can better deal with it if it strikes.

Food Poisoning Causes

Food poisoning occurs when a person swallows food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses or toxins produced by these germs. Food that has gone bad is contaminated with harmful bacteria and toxins. When your child eats or drinks contaminated food, the poisonous toxins cause inflammation of the gut, upsetting your child’s stomach.

Food Poisoning Symptoms 

Stomach cramps are the most common symptom of food poisoning. Your child might also start vomiting or develop diarrhoea, chills and fever.
You can learn more about abdominal pain in children here

Home Care: Food Poisoning Treatments

Give your child plenty of fluids to replace what is lost through vomiting or diarrhoea. Avoid beverages with high sugar content. Ensure your child gets enough rest.

When Should Seek Medical Attention for Food Poisoning?

Most children recover from food poisoning without medical attention.
However, see a doctor if the condition does not improve or if your child has any of these food poisoning symptoms:
  • Vomiting that lasts over one day
  • Fever of over 39ºC
  • Blood in the faeces or vomit
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Racing or pounding heartbeat
  • Severe dehydration (little or no urine, dizziness, extreme thirst, listlessness)
  • No oral intake. Although intuitive, this can lead to severe dehydration as well and child may require IV Fluid support.

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