Is it Food Poisoning or a Stomach Virus?

Growth and Development, Health and Safety
Is it Food Poisoning or a Stomach Virus

As a parent, it is always a challenge when those stomach problems arise in children. Dealing with nausea, cramping, and diarrhea is no treat, especially for the victims. It’s important to pay close attention. It could be food poisoning or a stomach virus. Either can be cause for alarm if a child becomes severely dehydrated. Know what to look for in each situation and possible home remedies.

When is it food poisoning?
Food poisoning can stem from a variety of causes. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are often at the root of a nasty bout of food poisoning. Allergens are often the culprit as well. Molds, toxic substances, or contaminated substances can also be found in foods and beverages, allowing children to fall prey to food poisoning. Cases of food poisoning can become evident in as little as an hour after eating the affected food. From that point, an intense round of cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can begin. In some cases, the onset may be days later.

When dealing with this problem at home, staying hydrated is crucial. Children should continue to drink plenty of fluids, such as Pedialyte or water. As a rule of thumb, for each round of diarrhea, another cup of fluid should be taken. Stay away from soda, juice, and sports drinks. If children cannot keep any fluids down for a prolonged period of time, it’s time to get help.

When is it a stomach virus?
A stomach virus is very similar to food poisoning, with cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as the common symptoms. It generally lasts for only a day or two when it comes to the trips to the bathroom. When those problems hang on longer, it could be another problem. To treat a stomach bug, mainly let it take its course and stick to plenty of clear liquids, keeping hydration as a priority. Encourage children to have good hygiene, change the bedding often, and practice cleanliness as the care giver to keep it from spreading.

If all efforts fail, or for peace of mind,take a trip to the doctor’s office or the emergency room. If a child’s digestive problems are accompanied by high fever that will not break, vomiting that cannot be controlled, there is blood in stool or vomit, or there are no signs of improvement, get professional medical advice before the problem becomes more severe.

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