Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and the intestines, typically resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infections or viral infections and causing vomiting and diarrhea. It causes pain in the abdomen. The disease stays for a few days in most cases, but sometimes it may stay for a long time. The main risk for your child is dehydration. Hydrate your child by encouraging hydrating drinks until he becomes well. If you cannot hydrate your child or if the illness gets worse, consult with a pediatrician.
Causes of Gastroenteritis in Children
Many viruses, bacteria, and microbes in germs can cause gastroenteritis. It is a common disease but in children, it may affect twice a year. Among the viruses that cause gastroenteritis in children, Rotavirus is the most common virus. Adenovirus is also another cause of this infection. Viruses may be transmitted from the infected to another child if they are in close contact with each other. Parents may be moderately infected as they have to nurse or fondle their children. Food poisoning and drinking contaminated water or drinks can also cause gastroenteritis. Bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and parasites make food and drinks poisonous.
Symptoms of Gastroenteritis in Children
The main symptom of gastroenteritis in children is diarrhea at least three times a day. Sometimes, vomiting may happen along with diarrhea. The watery stool or feces may show blood or mucus for which the children become dehydrated and weak easily. Your child will feel pain in the abdomen which will be released after passing diarrhea. Sometimes he may suffer from fever or high temperature, headache, and aching limbs. Generally, your child will vomit for only one or two days and suffer from loose stools or diarrhea of the same kind for about five to seven days. After that, he should return to his normal cycle. But in some cases, the symptoms may last longer.
Diagnosis and Tests for Gastroenteritis in Children
Although diagnosis and tests for gastroenteritis in children are generally not required, in certain cases, your pediatrician might ask you to collect some samples of loose stools from your child to submit to the laboratory. If the doctor comes to know that your child has blood in his stools, or that his symptoms are not getting better, or that he has suspected food poisoning, then the doctor may ask for the stool test. The sample of the stool will be examined in the laboratory to find out the reason for the infection that will help the doctor to take further initiative if necessary.
Conditions to Seek Medical Advice
There are certain conditions in your child when you should seek medical advice. The conditions are, your child’s having a high temperature, developing acute dehydration in the body, drowsy appearance, unable to drink, presence of blood in diarrhea or vomit, acute abdominal pain, worsening severe symptoms, vomiting for more than two days, diarrhea not starting to settle after three to four days.
How to Prevent Gastroenteritis in Children
Purely storing foods, cleanliness, and good hygiene is essential while preparing food items to prevent gastroenteritis in children especially during surrogacy parenthood (leihmutterschaft). You have to wash your hands and encourage the hands of your child after going to the toilet or potty, before touching food, between handling raw meat, fish, and other raw food to be cooked, and you have to avoid unsafe water and avoid food washed in unsafe water.
So, the aforementioned discussion about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and tests, conditions to seek medical advice, and how to prevent gastroenteritis in children will help you a lot to cope with gastroenteritis in children. Also, giving your child the vaccines of rotavirus and maintaining good hygiene in the family can effectively help children prevent gastroenteritis.