Gastroenteritis or stomach flu in children

Gastroenteritis or stomach flu in children

Gastroenteritis is a stomach and intestinal inflammation that causes vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive disturbances in children. The major reason for gastroenteritis among children is consumption of contaminated edibles and beverages.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis in children:

Following are the symptoms of gastroenteritis:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dehydration

If your child is showing any of the above mentioned symptoms visit the Best Child specialist in Lahore and get them treated.

Causes of Gastroenteritis in Children

Five major causes of gastroenteritis are as follows:

1.     Viruses

Rotavirus and Norovirus are the viruses that cause gastroenteritis by infecting the lining of the small intestine. Since gastroenteritis is a contagious infection it is transmitted when one child comes in contact with another child that is already infected with the disease.

2.     Bacteria

Most common bacteria that cause Gastroenteritis are:  Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus and Yersinia. Children get exposed to these bacteria when they touch contaminated food or eat it, come in contact with an animal that is carrying such bacteria, drink contaminated water or eat contaminated shellfish.

3.     Parasites

Giardia and Cryptosporidium are the parasites responsible for causing gastroenteritis. These parasites can be found in soil, food or water that is contaminated with the feces of infected people.

4.     Medicinal drugs:

It is certainly true that medicinal drugs that you use for the treatment of one disease may cause a reaction if they don’t go along with your child’s metabolism and lead to gastroenteritis.

5.     Exposure to chemicals:

At times certain foods carry toxic chemicals and upon consumption they impact your children’s health badly. Some common examples of these toxic chemicals are: lead, mercury and cadmium.

Diagnosis

For diagnosis your child’s paediatrician will observe their symptoms, do a physical examination and take in their health history. They may also ask about recent travel history and use of antibiotics to find out the root cause of the disease.

Even though it is pretty easy to assess the symptoms for gastroenteritis, but if your doctor is still doubtful and your symptoms keep on getting severe and it’s more than 48 hours of suffering a laboratory examination of your stool to check for the presence of viruses, bacteria, intestinal parasites, and white blood cells is a must.

Other than a stool test a blood test may also be recommended to look into the causes of your child’s condition.

Treatment for gastroenteritis in children:

These are the treatment methods that are recommended for the treatment of gastroenteritis in children:

  • The best treatment for gastroenteritis is a lot of rest and a high intake of liquids which will help in treating dehydration. You can give your child a higher amount of liquid in the form of plain water or juices. Rehydration solution should also be given if your child is severely dehydrated. The solution helps in coping up with reduced water level in the body. You should also monitor their hydration status to avoid any complications.
  • If the infection is severe, Best Child specialist will prescribe antibiotics along with other drugs. Those drugs should be given according to the doctor’s prescribed dose only.
  • If your child’s diarrhoea and vomiting is out of control their doctor will also prescribe medication to control it.
  • Probiotics supplements are also recommended to children suffering from gastroenteritis. These supplements contain good bacteria that fight off the bad bacteria and maintain gut health.

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