Gastroenteritis 101: Tips for Parents about the Stomach Bug

stomach ache

During the winter months, there are a lot of germs that spread quickly—from classrooms to public transportation and even in the comforts of your own home. Though infections and illnesses from these places are largely unavoidable, the parent’s responsibility is to care for the children affected by these conditions.

If your child has symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, the stomach bug or gastroenteritis may be to blame. Do you want to learn more about this health concern? Keep on reading for more information.

What Are the Common Causes of Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is a term used for inflammation of the gastrointestinal system, where all digestion and absorption occur. Symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting are common. 

Viruses, bacteria, and parasites can cause gastroenteritis. These common causes are as follows:

  1. Pseudomembranous Colitis – This is a bacterial infection that is caused by antibiotic therapy or even the overuse of antibiotics.
  2. Enterohemorrhagic E. Coli – This is a bacterial infection traced to undercooked meat.
  3. Norovirus – This is the most common virus that causes gastroenteritis. It can be transmitted from person to person and from contaminated objects.
  4. Rotavirus – This is the most common viral cause of diarrhea among children. This virus spreads quickly and is passed from person to person, and it can be very easy to catch.
  5. Viral Gastroenteritis – This is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. It is caused by common viruses that get passed from person to person.
  6. Parasitic Gastroenteritis – This is caused by parasites that are transmitted from person to person. Examples include Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Toxoplasma.

How to Prevent the Stomach Bug in Children

If your child is already showing symptoms of the stomach bug, it’s best to keep them home until they are well. But to prevent the stomach bug, it’s best to keep these in mind:

1. Wash Your Hands

Hand sanitizer and hand wipes aren’t always enough. It’s best to use soap and water to wash your hands thoroughly; experts advise at least 20 to 30 seconds of scrubbing. This will help prevent the spread of germs.

2. Wash the Hands of Your Kids

If your kids play outside, it’s best to make them wash their hands right after to prevent stomach bugs and other infections. This is especially important if they have come from a playground where they came into contact with many different people.

3. Avoid Undercooked Meat and Fish

To prevent stomach bugs, you should thoroughly cook foods like eggs, hot dogs, and lunch meats. It’s also best to avoid raw meat and fish if you have a weakened immune system.

How to Treat Gastroenteritis at Home

Children with milder cases of gastroenteritis may only require one or two days of rest, though you should consult your doctor if your child has been suffering from diarrhea or vomiting for more than 48 hours. 

Some essential tips are as follows:

1. Drink Plenty of Fluids

The best way to fight dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting is to drink lots of fluids. The recommended amount is one to two glasses of water every hour.

2. Medication

You can buy over-the-counter medications to relieve vomiting and diarrhea. Examples include Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate. Still, it’s best to consult your doctor about effectively managing your child’s symptoms.

3. Rest

Let your child rest so that they can recover faster. It’s better if they remain in bed to avoid the risk of other injuries that may be caused by their body’s weakness.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to understand how to manage gastroenteritis, mainly how to prevent it. Follow these tips, and you can keep your child from getting the stomach bug.

If your child is experiencing some health troubles, bring them to Your Kids Urgent Care, the best kid’s urgent care in Vestavia, AL. Our expert team offers superior and convenient pediatric services for children needing medical assistance. Contact us today for in-person and telemedicine appointments.

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