Written by Gunjan Bedi
If your toddler has diarrhea and frequent vomiting, it could be a sign of stomach flu. This usually happens due to viruses such as rotavirus or norovirus. The flu causes inflammation of the digestive tract lining, which results in diarrhea. Stomach flu in toddlers is very common because they sometimes eat food with unwashed hands.
Unfortunately, your little one may feel weak and listless because of losing body fluid. For parents, it is stressful to see their toddler low due to stomach infection. The sickness usually lasts for a few days without medicinal treatment. But those few days can be challenging for toddlers. However, you can take some precautionary steps to help toddlers prevent getting it. Learn about stomach flu, its symptoms, and when to seek doctors in this article.
In This Article
Stomach flu in toddlers generally happens due to rotaviruses, adenovirus, and norovirus. Out of all, rotavirus is a very common cause for stomach flu. This contagious viral infection can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting in little kids. It can cause symptoms such as-
In some toddlers, stomach flu only lasts for a few days and is not a cause of concern. But sometimes, if it lasts longer, you may need a doctor’s consultation.
Usually, toddlers get stomach flu due to rotavirus. This virus may enter the stomach through contaminated food or by sharing infected utensils and things. Your little one may also catch the virus by touching things already infected with feces. Toddlers usually put dirty hands in their mouths while playing. Chances are there, your tiny one has picked up an infection from their own infected hands.
However, in some other cases, it may also spread by drinking contaminated water and droplets present in the air from sneezes and coughs. The symptoms may appear within 4-48 hours after catching an infection.
Stomach flu can spread easily by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. So, your toddlers can catch the stomach flu by touching contaminated food or water, or even through dirty hands. They can also catch the infection if they share eateries with someone sick.
The most common symptoms of stomach flu in toddlers are diarrhea and vomiting. However, many toddlers also have the following symptoms-
Your little one may feel irritated and cry because of stomach flu symptoms. The symptoms last for a few days only. Some toddlers become more sluggish and tired than usual because of flu symptoms. Also, an upset stomach can dehydrate your little one, so try to keep them hydrated.
If your toddler has gastroenteritis, they will likely be at a greater risk of dehydration. Here are some treatment options you can follow to help toddlers fight infection-
Dehydration is the biggest danger for toddlers. When their body loses fluid, they also lose electrolytes and minerals. Make sure to keep your little one hydrated. This helps to fight against infection. Water is good for hydration, but it might not be enough. Provide them with oral rehydration solutions (ORS) for electrolyte balance. Keep your toddlers away from acidic juices and milk. It can worsen stomach problems.
[Read : ORS For Babies]
Give them solid food when your toddler starts drinking liquid. But be sure to give bland food such as rice, bananas, bread, and toast. Light soups are also a great option for stomach flu. Avoid giving fried and spicy food to your little one. This kind of food can create a lot of problems and indigestion problems.
Stomach flu usually lasts only a few days. With time, your toddler feels fine and gets rid of stomach flu. We know a lot of mothers are tempted by over-the-counter medicines, but you don’t need to give them. Antibiotics and other medicines may or may not work on viruses. But you should consult with doctors before giving any medicine to your toddler.
Home remedies work well to help fight stomach flu. There are several remedies that can make your tiny tot feel better during stomach flu, such as-
Stomach flu is contagious, so there is no complete prevention available. However, you can take necessary steps to minimize the chances of your toddler catching stomach flu, such as-
[Read : Rotavirus Vaccine In Babies]
Call your doctor if your toddler’s stomach flu symptoms don’t go away after some days. You can also contact the pediatrician if your little munchkin has excessive vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It could be a symptom of severe dehydration and needs immediate medical attention. Some more reasons to seek a doctor are as follows-
Stomach flu is a common illness that causes symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. We know it is hard for mothers to see their toddlers sick and weak. You can follow the above remedies to help your toddler with stomach flu. Keep your little heart hydrated when they are dealing with stomach flu. Talk to your pediatrician if their symptoms get worse.
Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and soups benefit in stomach flu. In addition to this, give them liquid such as coconut water, lime juice, or oral rehydration solution. This helps to recover the fluid loss.
Stomach flu lasts for 3-10 days in toddlers. In some cases, it may get over in 2-3 days, but in some cases it may last longer.
Stomach flu is usually caused by virus and is contagious. Food poisoning on the other hand occurs due to bacteria and is not contagious. Stomach flu symptoms take anywhere between 12 to 48 hours to show up. Whereas, food poisoning shows up within a few hours of consuming bad food. Usually it can happen within 6 hours of eating contaminated food.
Read Also: Dehydration In Toddlers
Gunjan Bedi an inspirational writer and story teller. My background in medical science make me a perfect content writer in parenting and medical content writing niche. My content has touched millions of readers within three years. Since past three years I have worked with several clients in different niche and provide easy to read content that readers love the most.Read more.
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