Kids and Stomach Bugs

Dr. Alanna Levine shares tips for helping your child cope with a stomach virus.
5:44 | 12/06/11

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Transcript for Kids and Stomach Bugs
When your baby or young child gets the stomach bug it's unpleasant for them and stressful for the parents but unfortunately. A stomach virus is one of the most common illnesses that kids can get especially in flu season. So how can you help your child get relief and what you need to know joining us now with more is pediatrician doctor Lana looking after living great to see you thanks to be here how -- kids catch a stomach. Well. It's one of those -- is unfortunate. Hugely -- -- it spread through schools and it spreads through daycare centers and basically and that's come in contact with the contaminated stool. And then it's on a surface and then touch it and your hands and now -- heat. That's -- and spread and but what if you -- your -- the same thing or is it mostly -- them out most of the math it really needs to be ingested sounds gross value on the you know it spreads well absolutely and how long does it take to truly run its course. -- variable so an older child and adult and he may have a typical 24 hour. And younger children typically last summer between three and eight days and I usually tell my patients if you have a child is having persistent vomiting or diarrhea more than three -- is. At the top I really wanna see to some extraordinary -- hills and those -- the clear -- abstract rights even have fever -- and some kids will only have vomiting some people only have diarrhea. It really can vary from child to child. But the most important thing you can do as a parent is make -- that your child missing -- hydrated so does that mean just water -- recommend PD alight. That's a great question because parents always say -- -- And really fluids are the number one things you wanna give them ice I tell parents not only give water because when your vomiting and diarrhea you're also losing salt do you want to get something with salt. So those rehydration solutions like Healy can be really done. Diluted apple juice you don't want to get straight apple -- large quantities and back to actually cause diarrhea even in healthy children. But if you diluted just to give them some of the sugar some electorate -- -- -- -- no food. Well. -- I usually say follow their leaves -- -- hungry asking for food you can try to give it. I would avoid giving those greasy hard to digest the foods. Used to be that we would recommend most of the brat diet BR AT was bananas rice apple sauce and toast via land sort of binding thing. And I feel the parents have naturally gravitate toward fat. But some of the current teaching is that you can actually give the child what they want to view the young baby who just really wants -- milk an -- and they wanna drink. If that's gotta hydrate them give it to and that's not gonna cause more area are well I and Eaton eat it really -- the injury to the GI tract is that the cells in the lining of the intestines are broken down and the more you challenge him. The more it's gonna re grow so you can try it look at every time you give a talk something it goes right through that you're gonna wanna avoid that -- try something -- -- like a rehydration solution -- dilute it is. But if you're talking hold onto and tolerate it and I thought so and so when it comes to a treatment of a stomach bug it's basically just give them fluids. Is there anything else. So you want to start with what we call oral hydration so that means. You may even need to give like a tiny amount teaspoon every twenty minutes because a large amount of fluid will trigger that gag reflex and those children well actually throw -- If you can't keep in more than they're losing IV fluids would be another way to go on but we also have some great anti nausea and vomiting medications. Now -- come -- -- oral disintegrating tablet by prescription but it's something that you really want to talk to your pediatrician about. Before your child gets in trouble and that the point of needing won't talk about that because at what point do you call the doctor I mean. Every child gets -- stomach but at some point or another and -- that the 24 hour. Mild. You feel like I can handle this right -- at what point do you say OK I need help it will and that's it that's a great question to ask because. As a parent you want to make sure that your child is keeping down. More than their -- -- and signs that they're losing too much would be if you've atop its crying without tears because it means the bodies hanging on to fluid. If you the child who stuck to -- innings -- you haven't seen a wet diaper and 812 hours we need to call your pediatrician you don't want to let back ago. If your child has really sunken eyes wears lethargic has no energy those are other reasons -- -- Adam Slinger nutrition. -- -- -- The fever can be part of -- and mom but if you're talking with a fever and isn't acting well and just looks concerning to you absolutely don't -- to -- -- about blood in the school or in the vomit. So sometimes -- some viruses where you can have blood in the stool but sometimes that can be -- -- something more -- is going on so if you see blood insolent it was a good idea to check with your pediatrician and definitely if -- top of vomiting up blood whether little streaks of latter -- of blood definitely talk to -- attention and have been if it's determined that the child needs -- immediately. -- be taken to the emergency hasn't -- I think that's exactly and that's a good thing he wants to prepare your child for your house party feels horrible and -- -- if you're at the point we're going. Emergence here it's probably gonna involve blood work and and I being just -- -- sort of prepare them for their surprise they get there and then at that point a child will usually get better after a few days well it's amazing how quickly they can get better because really what's making them -- a lousy. Is the dehydration and lack of fluids. So sometimes after a couple hours of IV fluid hydration even in the emergency room a child sort of like perk up and say I'm -- -- any -- It's amazing how resilient children -- It's likely you know it still takes a couple more days for them to really fully recovering at -- on I think you so much Alan Levine the.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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