Also known as gastroenteritis (or “gastro”), stomach flu is usually caused by a virus.
What are the symptoms of stomach flu?
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Blood/mucus in the bowel movement
How does it spread?
- Direct contact
- Indirect contact with germs on hands, toys, or other objects
What can you do as a parent to help your child?
- Try to replace the fluids your child loses through vomiting and diarrhea a little at a time; too much at once may cause additional vomiting.
- Use an oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration. A spoon or medicine dropper can be used to give your child the oral rehydration solution if they are too young to use a cup or a sipper.
- If you are breastfeeding your child, nurse at a greater frequency but for shorter periods of time.
Monitor their urine output:
- Children under 2 years of age should wet a minimum of four diapers per day.
- Children older than 2 years should urinate three or four times per day.
- Do not worry if your child has not eaten for a few days; the important thing is that your child remains hydrated.
- Give acetaminophen (such as Tempra®) or ibuprofen for fever.
NOTE: The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months old without first talking to your physician.
- If your child is vomiting, you can use rectal suppositories to reduce fever.