GASTROENTERITIS is such a huge term! Wonder why all medical terms are so scary!

Whenever your child falls sick, it gives you a headache. And gastroenteritis in children is enough to give you goose bumps.

Relax!

Gastroenteritis in children is not as scary as it sounds. Just a few steps and you can cure it easily.

But, first understand what it is.

What is Gastroenteritis?

It is the infection of the lining of the digestive tract, caused by rotavirus. Other viruses like adenovirus and Norwalk virus can also cause the disease.  Thus, your child can get over one bout of gastroenteritis in his lifetime.

Bacteria can also cause the illness but are less common.

 

What causes Gastroenteritis in Children?

contaminated-tap-water-in-glass

Image: cpreec.org

 

Your child gets ill by ingesting contaminated food or water or coming in contact with infected faecal matter and then putting his hands in the mouth without washing.

Gastroenteritis Symptoms

child-sitting-on-potty

Image: mommyedition.com

Gastroenteritis in children presents itself as:

  • Diarrhoea or loose motions
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in stool (mostly in bacterial infection)
  • Fever with chills
  • Abdominal pain

How to cure stomach pain in babies?

4 Steps to deal with gastroenteritis in children

4 Steps to deal with gastroenteritis in children Click To Tweet

#1 Don’t give any anti-diarrhoeal medicine or aspirin to the child; it will worsen the case.

Only give the over-the-counter oral electrolyte solution or fresh lemonade prepared at home. Key points to remember:

  • Give small amounts of fluid rather than a single large amount. 1 tsp every 1-2 minutes is sufficient.
  • Keep giving the solution even if your child is vomiting.

#2 Call your paediatrician immediately

In cases of severe vomiting and diarrhoea, call your paediatrician immediately. He may prescribe a medicine to control the same.

 To search the right paediatrician in your area, these tips are handy

If your child shows signs of severe dehydration like sunken eyes, decreased urine output, extreme thirst, crying without tears and wrinkled skin, he may be hospitalised for a day or two.

#3 Take care of the child’s diet

Most mothers stop breastfeeding or giving formula milk to the child when he has gastroenteritis. But, in reality, you should:

  • Continue to breastfeed on demand
  • Give formula feeds as per his needs
  • If your child can take solids, offer him simple foods like porridge, toast, rice, and yoghurt.

Only if your child cannot digest formula milk or breast milk or any solid food, it’s advisable to give him the electrolyte solution throughout the day and resume his normal diet once he can keep this electrolyte solution without vomiting.

#4 Avoid giving your child any food with high sugar content. Resume his daily diet slowly once he begins to recover from the bout of gastroenteritis.

Is your child suffering from gastroenteritis? Gastroentritis is not as scary as it sounds. Learn 4 tips to deal with it easily and effectively

 

You can prevent gastroenteritis in children

To prevent the illness:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after every diaper change, bathroom visit and before preparing or eating food. The same goes for the other family members and day care staff. It’s advised to wash your baby’s hands often throughout the day. Encourage your child to wash his hands after using the washroom and playing.

Avoid these mistakes when washing your hands

  • Keep all food items and drinking water in a clean place and covered with a lid.
  • Get your baby 3 doses of the rotavirus vaccine: at 2, 4, and 6 months. Despite the vaccine, he may still get the illness due to other viruses or bacteria, but it won’t be severe.

Here’s the recommended vaccination schedule for the Indian kids:

Age of the childVaccines
At birthBCG, Hepatitis B, OPV
6 weeksDPT, OPV, Hepatitis B 2, Hib , PCV
10 weeks
DPT 2, OPV, Hib 2, Rotavirus 1, PCV 2
14 weeksDPT 3, OPV, Hib 3, Rotavirus 2, PCV 3
6 monthsOPV, Hepatitis B 3, Rotavirus 3
9 monthsOPV, MMR
12 monthsHepatitis A
15 monthsMMR 2, PCV booster, Varicella
16-18 monthsDPT booster, Hib booster
18 monthsHepatitis A 2
4- 6 yearsDPT booster 2, Varicella 2
10-12 yearsHPV

OPV – Oral Polio Vaccine

DPT- Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus

Hib- Influenza

PCV- Pneumococcal

HPV- Human Papillomavirus

 

Did you find the post useful? Help other mommies deal with gastroenteritis in children by sharing these tips!

 

 

Your doctor is out of town? Don’t panick! Get in touch with our child experts right now!

 

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Dr Shivangi Aggarwal

Hi. I am Dr Shivangi Aggarwal, Founder, Mom and Me, practicing as a homoeopathic consultant for child diseases since 10 years. Raising a physically and emotionally healthy child is no less than a challenge today as it is encountered by many hurdles. "Mom and Me" holds your hand to overcome these challenges in the most practical way and give your child a future he will love.

2 Comments

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · September 26, 2018 at 10:41 am

That’s very a useful post shivangi. I had got rota virus vaccine for my daughter. This is scary.

    Dr Shivangi Aggarwal · September 26, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Yes, Anshu! Rotavirus vaccine is really necessary for children to save them from severe bouts of gastroenteritis. That’s why Indian government has added this to the immunisation schedule recently.

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