Gastroenteritis In Babies - 11 Symptoms & 6 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of


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Remember the time when you had to rush to the washroom again and again, and you regretted grabbing those quick takeaways from your favorite restaurant? It was irritating to keep running to the washroom and, at times, also embarrassing. Stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, may have affected you once in a while, but think of what your baby goes through if he is affected too? As much as you as a parent hate to read this, but the fact remains that babies too suffer from stomach flu.

What Is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is basically an infection that affects the intestines. While it usually affects growing children and adults, babies too can be victims.

What Causes Gastroenteritis In Babies?

Rotavirus, adenovirus and some bacteria including salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter are believed to be the main agents that cause the infection. These bacteria or viruses usually spread due to close physical contact with the infected individual or by consumption of food and water that is contaminated.

Babies tend to get infected by consuming food that is contaminated such as formula milk from a bottle that hasn’t been washed carefully.

[ Read: Food Allergies In Babies ]

Signs And Symptoms Of Stomach Flu:

While the signs and symptoms associated with stomach flu differ from person to person, there are certain common symptoms that can be listed down.

  1. Abdominal cramps
  2. High fever
  3. Headache
  4. Aching limbs
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Watery or loose stools
  7. Presence of blood or mucus in the stool (in case of severe infections)
  8. Vomiting
  9. Drowsiness
  10. Weakness
  11. Irritability

[ Read: Blood In Baby Stool ]

Treatment Of Stomach Flu:

Since babies are extremely delicate, you need to seek immediate medical help once you notice any of the above symptoms. If left untreated, gastroenteritis in babies may lead to the spread of infection, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your little one’s body.

1. In case of a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe certain antibiotics that may be suitable for your baby.

2. For viral infections, your doctor may recommend some other mode of treatment.

3. For severe symptoms associated with the condition, your healthcare provider may also recommend a dose of infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

4. To ensure that your baby is hydrated, he will also prescribe an oral rehydration solution, which you should ensure to feed your baby regularly. This solution may help restore the salt and mineral balance of the body.

5. Also make sure you avoid feeding your baby any fruit juices or high sugar foods as they tend to worsen the flu.

6. For mild diarrhoea and no vomiting, your doctor may suggest you to continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula milk.

[ Read: How To Treat Dehydration In Infants ]

Preventive Measures:

As a mother, everything that you do affects your baby. You can try these preventive measures to safeguard your baby with stomach flu:

  • Ensure you maintain proper personal hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap or liquid after every diaper change and visit to the bathroom. Repeat even after you come back home from work.
  • Sterilize your baby’s utensils properly before use – bottles, bowls and spoons. Follow safe and clean cooking practices.
  • Vaccinate your child against rotavirus. Ideally, your baby should be vaccinated with three doses – first when the baby is 2 months old, another when he is 4 and the last one when he is 6 months old.

It is important to take the baby to the doctor immediately once you notice any symptoms associated with the condition.

We hope you found this article to be informative and useful. Do check out other articles on our website that may help you look after your baby better.

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