Gastroenteritis is characterised by diarrhea and vomiting usually caused by a virus carried in the stool that is easily passed from one child to another. It is very important to keep infected children segregated until symptoms have improved (2-3) days, and they are well enough to return to school/ childcare.
Good hygiene practices, particularly hand washing are essential to stop the spread of infection to other people in close contact with the infected child.
Keeping the child well hydrated is very important and several electrolyte solutions are available in store in various forms including liquid, soluble, and icy pole. It is essential to keep offering frequent small amounts of fluid to the child to prevent dehydration that can happen quickly with children.
If your child is experiencing:
- severe abdominal pain.
- Persistent diarrhea ( more than 3-4 days).
- Blood in stool.
- Looks very unwell.
- Bilious vomit (green).
- Vomiting without diarrhea.
Seek medical attention as these symptoms may occur in gastroenteritis but could also indicate something more serious that needs urgent medical attention.