The past weeks my family has been dealing with a nasty stomach flu. It all started with Luzy. She was vomiting and looked a bit weaker than the usual. Next is Ate who’s had bouts of vomiting as well.
The doctor said it must have been intolerance to something that the girls ate. It’s hard to pin point which because both ate different things in the past 24 hours.
Stomach flu, stomach bug or medically known as viral gastroenteritis is an infection of the intestines. You and your kids can contract this virus. But kids are mostly affected because their immune system is not as strong as yours.
Stomach flu symptoms include vomiting, stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness, fever and diarrhea. The infected kid could have one or a combination of the symptoms. The more symptoms he or she has, would often mean a more serious stomach bug.
How to differentiate food poisoning with stomach bug?
If your child has stomach bug, it is hard to pinpoint which food or water caused it because it has a slow onset and usually the symptoms last for the next 3-5 days. Food poisoning on the other hand has a quick onset, literally few minutes or hours after eating something the child is intolerant or ate some “bad” food. Food poisoning subsides pretty quickly too.
Know when to bring your child to the hospital!
Technically, it’s best to bring your child to the doctor when vomiting is frequent because:
- The doctor will tell you how to manage it
- The doctor can check for other possible reasons- better safe than sorry.
Do not self medicate when you are unsure and trust your gut feel.
Anyway, it’s always better to prevent illnesses than cure it. So here are some tips to help you prevent and manage stomach flu with kids.
Avoiding Stomach flu with Kids:
- Make sure they drink clean water. There is no compromise on this one.
- Use clean water when you clean their water bottles too. The last batch of water that washes my daughters’ water bottles is boiled water.
- Change the water in their bottles everyday even when not used. Don’t let it stand for hours in room temperature and then use it after 24 hours or more. PH temperature is not good for any food or water sitting in room temperature.
- Drink yakult or give your kids yogurt to “stock” up on good bacteria. And boost your child’s immune system.
- Practice hand washing. Stomach bug is contagious and often, our kids get them from school, playgrounds and other public areas. Hand washing and proper hygiene is your best defense.
How to Prevent other family members from getting stomach flu when one member is sick:
- To prevent other family members from getting stomach flu, ask them to always wash their hands before eating.
- Don’t let the sick child handle food that is being shared.
- Separate the utensils that the sick child is using. Pour hot water on the utensils after washing it with the usual soap and water.
What to do when your child has stomach flu or stomach bug?
- After vomiting, wait at least 15 minutes before giving your child something to drink. This will allow your child’s stomach to “settle”. Otherwise, the child will only feel sicker.
- Don’t force the child to chug a glass of water because you’re scared of dehydration. It’s better to let the child do frequent sip of water.
- Check for signs of dehydration and consult your doctor how to manage it. Usually kids are given oral hydration.
- Do not self medicate, always consult your doctor for proper medication and their dosage.
- Give soft diet to children suffering from stomach flu. They cannot tolerate oily and hard to digest food yet. So try soup, bananas, porridge, noodles, etc
- As the virus subsides, give your child small but frequent feedings until she’s able to digest her regular food at the regular serving.
When kids vomit, it’s hard not to panic as parents. But try to get a hold of yourself, educate yourself with the symptoms and assess. Worrying won’t make your kids feel any better. Instead, ask for your doctor’s advise for your peace of mind. It could simply be a bug but at least you know your kid will be okay in a few days.
Hope this post has helped you!