How to spot stomach bug in your child
If you have a tiny tot at home, it is understandable that there will be days when they will be down with ailments like cold and cough, fever, throat infection, and not to forget- stomach infection.Different things can cause stomach infections in your child. You can blame it on the changing climatic conditions, hygiene practices, or immunity. Stomach infection in kids is usually caused due to all the bacteria and germs found on their tiny hands from play time. Though it is slightly difficult to exactly rule out or determine what type of infection or the kind of virus your kid might have caught, there are a few symptoms that will indicate that the tiny tot is suffering from the stomach infection.
What is Stomach Infection?
Stomach infection, primarily called stomach bug, is usually caused by a viral or bacterial pathogens and is formally known as gastroenteritis. It is the inflammation in the digestive tract, including small and large intestines and stomach as well. The most common reason for kids to get this infection is rotavirus.
This infection in kids causes diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps- leading to dehydration and weakness. These are a few symptoms that can help us diagnose if the child is suffering from a stomach infection. Even though vomiting and diarrhoea are the main symptoms, your child may also complain of severe stomach cramps, continual headache, high fever for two to three days, or even may show up symptoms like decreased appetite, increased sleep hours and red spots on face.
It is highly important to look out for signs of dehydration, including the child becoming inactive, lethargic and irritable. Although these signs and symptoms are noticeable, the most alarming sign should be when your child may have swollen eyes or hasn’t passed the urine for more than 3 hours. This is when you should immediately consult your paediatrician for the line of treatment.
If you notice that your child is behaving in a very irritable manner, or is crying loudly and is not able to sleep properly, it is an indication that the child is suffering from an infection. Usually, a child may show these symptoms in a day or two after catching the virus. But, timely vaccinations and treatment can help your child to get through it. Besides vaccinations, there are a few preventative measures that can be effective in avoiding the infection.
Let’s look at them.
- Hygiene: The first and foremost thing that a parent should teach their child is to maintain proper hygiene, especially how to wash their hands properly.
- Water Intake: If your child is having an infection, more emphasis should be given on the intake of fluids as the vomiting and diarrhoea may leave them dehydrated. Parents should cultivate a habit of consuming the right amount of water. To recover from diarrhoea, a child should be given fluids like plain water, fresh fruit juices, soups, and coconut water in small amounts at a regular interval. This way, a child will get the required electrolytes for rehydration.
- Foods to be given: Parents must avoid giving any kind of packaged or processed food. Freshly cooked food should be given to the child in the form of khichdi, dal, or soup. For a bottle-feeding child, one must ensure that the feeding bottles are well sterilized and washed thoroughly after every use. This way, you can be sure that your child is protected from any kind of virus and resultant ailments.
- Fresh fruits: Intake of starchy fruits like rice should be given to ease the vomiting and diarrhoea. Ensure that the food is properly cooked and easy to chew. Any type of fried food, spicy or packaged food should be avoided.
- Probiotics: Certain bacteria found in the body promote the growth of good bacteria, which is extremely essential to maintain good health. Probiotics are active form of this good bacteria that is mainly found in yogurt and other fermented foods.
- Vaccination: Besides all the above-mentioned measures, timely rotavirus vaccines are highly encouraged to keep young ones immune to these infections.