Posts Tagged ‘rotavirus’

Two weekends ago I went to Tahoe for a fun ski weekend, which ended up turning into a trip sleeping on the bathroom floor. To my knowledge, I had the stomach flu and thought I would do a little research so you would be in the know about it too –trust me, it is not fun! Both parents and kids get it!

Every parent dreads hearing the three words, “My tummy hurts.” During the winter there is always a time of the stomach-virus season, entire classrooms and childcare centers can be taken by storm. I recently discovered that there is a new vaccine that fights against rotavirus, a common stomach bug. But there’s an increasing number of different strains of norovirus — another major cause of tummy trouble, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To protect your family – and not go through the torture I have been through – read up on the below mini lessons about the stomach flu.

It’s not just in the stomach, and it’s not a flu.
Officially called “viral gastroenteritis,” a stomach virus also causes inflammation and irritation in the small intestine and has nothing to do with the respiratory virus we call influenza or otherwise known as the “flu.” Influenza is spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes; your child picks up a stomach virus when he touches a surface or an object or eats a food that’s contaminated with infected stool or vomit. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever, and body aches. Diarrhea can last for several days – it lasted 48 hours for me – and most of the other symptoms subside within 48 hours.

Your child might not have a virus at all.
Doctors can’t always distinguish between a stomach virus and food poisoning — or even appendicitis. That’s because all three conditions can cause pain and vomiting. However, fever generally doesn’t accompany food poisoning, and diarrhea is not often associated with appendicitis. Food poisoning usually comes on suddenly and is gone within 12 hours.

Medication doesn’t help — and could hurt.
I took Immodium to attempt to help my stomach flu, which I later found out is not always good to take. When there’s an infection in the stomach, toxins get released in your stool. Antidiarrheal drugs slow down stool production so toxins linger in the body for a longer time.

It’s fine to feed your child if she’s hungry.
She probably won’t feel much like eating, but when her appetite returns, you can give her most of what she normally eats. Did you know that doctors now believe that the traditional BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) doesn’t give kids enough protein or calories? Steer clear of high-fat foods like chicken fingers and ice cream – they are harder to digest and may be more likely to be thrown up.

Also make sure to hydrate – Gatorade was my friend during my sick time. Make sure to call your doctor if your child has signs of dehydration, including a lack of tears when he or she cries, a dry mouth, no wet diapers in six hours for babies, or no urination for 12 hours in older kids.

Last Quick Tips:

1. The best beverage to offer a vomiting child is…
Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte or Gatorade that contains water and electrolytes in specific concentrations to replenish what your child has lost.

2. Every time your child drinks something, she throws up. You should offer small sips regularly. They always say, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Note that a teaspoonful of liquid every few minutes adds up to a few ounces in an hour.

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