Gastroenteritis in children is a condition that affects the digestive system, causing symptoms such as watery stools, vomiting and stomach cramps. Often referred to as stomach flu, it is an illness that frequently afflicts children around the world and more severely affects those who have little or no access to quality medical care.
Gastroenteritis in Children is quiet are common. Anything from swimming in contaminated water to touching animals with diarrhoea can transmit the pathogen to the child. This pathogen can be a virus, bacteria, or parasite.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis in children can range from mild to severe depending on the individual. It is known that it usually lasts 2-3 days. Sometimes, however, they can persist for about 10 days longer. Common symptoms of gastroenteritis include:
- Watery stools
- Nausea, vomiting, or both
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Occasional muscle aches or headaches
- Low-grade fever
- Coping With Symptoms
The treatment process for gastroenteritis in children simply involves treating individual symptoms as they arise and waiting for the disease to resolve. For a healthy adult, recovery will be relatively fast without any complications. However, it may take a little longer for children to recover from the disease. It is important to note that the disease can quickly turn into complications if adequate care is not taken.
You should take your child to the doctor if you notice the following symptoms:
- Fever of 102 F or higher
- Extreme drowsiness or irritability
- Extreme discomfort or pain
- Bloody diarrhea
Children often do not realize that they are dehydrated. As a caregiver, pay attention to signs of dehydration by comparing how much water they usually drink and how much they consume when they are sick. The same goes for toilet habits. Decreased urination is a sign of dehydration.
If you have a baby suffering from gastroenteritis, you may notice symptoms of vomiting. It is important not to confuse vomiting with spitting. Spitting is common and can be a daily occurrence, but vomiting in babies often requires immediate medical attention.
Contact your pediatrician right away if your baby has been vomiting in the past few hours, has no wet diapers for six hours, or has severe diarrhea, has a dry mouth or cries without tears, and is unusually sleepy or unresponsive.
Gastroenteritis can be distressing for your child. Taking the right precautions will help keep your child safe. Here are a few steps to follow.
Teach your child the habit of hand washing
Teaching your kids to wash their hands can go a long way towards ensuring they don’t swallow harmful microbes that can cause gastroenteritis. Make sure they wash their hands before eating their food and after using the toilet. Use a bar of soap or hand wash and rub vigorously for at least 20-30 seconds while washing your hands. Don’t forget to wash your cuticles and under nails thoroughly. If you don’t have access to water and soap, a hand sanitizer can help.
Disinfect and clean your home
Sometimes your children catch a specific virus or bacteria from a source object inside the house. This could be from a dirty shoe, faucet, doorknob, a toy lying on the floor, or even a pet. Keeping your home environment clean and germ-free will help prevent infections such as gastroenteritis. You should also go one step further to ensure your child’s school or daycare center is well-groomed and germ-free.
Avoid close contact with infected people
It goes without saying. A good tip to keep in mind is that everyone in the household should use their own towels, cutlery and clothing. Sometimes even a sick pet may be carrying a virus or a bacteria that can infect your child. Therefore, pay attention to what your child is exposed to.
Dealing with gastroenteritis can be quite easy for a person with a healthy immune system. However, the disease can be fatal for infants and older adults with limited immunity. Besides the tips suggested above, consider drinking only clean boiled water, cooking food, and avoiding raw and undercooked foods. For those already affected by gastroenteritis, perhaps the most important symptom to watch out for is dehydration.
Visit us at Kids Docs Speciality Clinics for the best possible comprehensive pediatric services for children in Hyderabad. With the best pediatrician in Hyderabad, we offer a wide range of specialized healthcare for newborns and children up to the age of eighteen.
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