Gastroenteritis, better known as the stomach bug, can be much worse than your typical tummy ache. This bug can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. There are a variety of viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, such as norovirus, which often sweeps through childcare centers and schools leaving many sick children in its wake.
Most stomach viruses only last for a few days to a week and do not require anything but plenty of rest and fluids. Still, parents should be vigilant to be sure that their child is drinking enough fluids to combat dehydration. “Parents often make the mistake of giving too much fluid to their child at once,” said Dr. Eugenia Cooper-Merchant, an experienced pediatrician with Careteam+. “I suggest starting with just a tablespoon of an electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte. Continue to provide fluids about every 15 minutes while slowly increasing the amount. If your child prefers Gatorade or juice, be sure to water it down with a ratio of one part water and one part juice since these drinks are often high in sugar and can cause diarrhea.”
“Once your child regains their appetite, you can offer them small amounts of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (better known as the BRAT diet). If your child keeps those foods down, they can slowly return to regular meals. You may also try feeding your child Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is high in probiotics, which promote healthy flora in the intestine. It also contains less sugar than regular yogurt,” says Dr. Cooper-Merchant.
If the stomach bug lasts longer than a week, symptoms become severe, or your child becomes dehydrated, it is wise to contact a physician. At Careteam+, our experienced pediatrician, Dr. Eugenia Cooper-Merchant, provides specialized health and wellness care, and will work closely with you as a partner in the healthcare of your child. Call Dr. Cooper-Merchant at 843-234-0005.
All content on this website, including information presented in blogs such as this, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a diagnosis or treatment plan. Seek the advice of a Careteam+ physician on any issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of your family including your children.