Stomach flu

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
  • Fever
  • 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.