Combating 'Stomach Flu': Truth And Tips For Parents

Now that school is in session, children can bring back home a 'horde' of nasty germs and ailments. Amongst the most common of these is the 'Stomach Flu'!

The term 'stomach flu' can be confusing for so many people. It is acute viral gastroenteritis capable of attacking the lining of the digestive tract and causing a myriad of distressing symptoms.

The infection can easily spread through improper handwashing after using the bathroom or from caretakers who omit washing their hands properly after changing diapers or tasks of resemblance. Such viruses can lurk on toys or books and infect the next child. Moreover, the infection can happen by ingesting contaminated food or water.

The stomach flu symptoms usually begin within one to two days after exposure and can last for one to 10 days. Nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhoea represent the hallmark symptoms of this viral gastroenteritis ailment. Other common complaints may include fever, tummy cramps, headache, and loss of appetite.

The most dangerous consequence of stomach flu is dehydration. Focus mainly on getting your child to drink a lot of water, fluids (such as light soup) or over-the-counter oral hydration solutions to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost because of vomiting and diarrhoea. Start with small, frequent volumes and increase it gradually as tolerated. Do not try to force down large amounts of fluid at one time, as this can induce vomiting. Avoid giving your child fizzy drinks or those high in sugar, as it can make diarrhoea worse.

You can gradually start giving him semi-solid forms of food. Initially, some parents prefer a starchy diet comprising: Bananas, rice, potatoes, and toast. These foods may help ease diarrhoea. Others prefer steamed vegetables and boiled plain pasta.

Take heart! Stomach flu is not a serious ailment for most. It is an infection that regresses spontaneously in the vast majority of cases, and without any lingering complications.

The Department of Paediatrics and Family Medicine

Dubai London Clinic and Speciality Hospital, Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai
Dubai London Clinic (Dubai Festival City)
Dubai London Clinic (Al Thanya Centre)
Dubai London Clinic (Spinneys Villa Centro Community Mall)
Dubai London Dental Clinic ( Al Wasl)
Telephone No: 800-DLC / 800-352

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