Are you worried that your child may have picked up some infection? Is he suffering from an upset tummy? Does he complain of fever and headache almost all the time? Do you want to learn about some common childhood infections so that you can take precautions and care at the right time?
If you nodded along solemnly, then it is time you read our post. Your child may have a salmonella infection. What is it? How does it affect children? Here, we look at the basics, salmonella symptoms in children and how to treat salmonella infections.
What Is The Salmonella Infection?
The salmonella infection occurs due to the salmonella bacteria and leads to various gastrointestinal issues. Salmonella bacteria are of many kinds, but the two main ones that affect children are the Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis. The bacteria are more active during the summer months than in the winter season. Young children have a weaker immune system, which makes them more prone to contracting the disease (1).
[ Read: Common Bacterial Infections In Children ]
Causes Of Salmonella Infection In Children:
The main reason of contracting salmonella infections in children is eating contaminated food. Here are some common ways in which your child could contract the same:
- By eating unhygienic food.
- If your child does not wash hands after using the washroom and touches the food with the same hands, even though they may otherwise look clean.
- Sometimes, pets may have the bacteria in their feces that can get transferred to your child and pass on to food.
- Ducklings and hamsters often carry salmonella, even if they are perfectly healthy. Your child should always wash his hands immediately after handling them, to avoid any chance of an infection.
- The infection can also occur if your child eats raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, egg products or meat.
[ Read: Human Papilloma Virus In Children ]
Salmonella Symptoms In Children:
Here are some common signs and symptoms of salmonella in children, you may be able to spot:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Fever and nausea
- Chills throughout the body
- Headache and body ache
- Diarrhea or stomach upset
- Blood in the stool (2)
In most cases, your child will start showing the symptoms within 12 to 72 hours after the infection has spread. The symptoms usually last between four to seven days and can sometimes go away, if the infection is not severe. However, your child may be extremely uncomfortable or in pain, so the best thing to do is a consult a pediatrician if you spot any of these symptoms.
[ Read: Signs Of Diarrhea In Children ]
Diagnosing Salmonella Poisoning In Children:
If you suspect your child has a salmonella infection, make sure to speak to your pediatrician immediately.
Your pediatrician will diagnose the infection in the following ways:
- Ask questions about what your child ate in the last few days and if there are any pets at home.
- Perform a physical exam.
- Recommend a laboratory examination of stool, blood or urine culture.
[ Read: Treating Coxsackie Viruses In Children ]
Salmonella Treatment In Children::
Your pediatrician will treat salmonella in children in the following ways:
- The best way to treat the condition is to manage the symptoms or any related complications, as antibiotics do not always help.
- If the infection spreads and is present in your child’s blood, bone, brain or other organs, your doctor will prescribe antibacterial treatment.
- In case your child is severely dehydrated, the doctor may also recommend intravenous fluids or oral supplements.
The salmonella infection is common in children. Make sure you teach your child the importance of following clean and hygienic habits, including eating habits.
Did your child encounter the infection? How did you treat it? Tell us in the comments below.
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