Our son had his first play-date at a local mall playground. Even though the photos were memorable, the aftermath of the play-date did not come with such fond memories. Within 12 -ours, our little guy was vomiting numerous times and ended up with days of soiled diapers that looked more like a war zone.
Acute gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu, is a common and self-limiting illness. The most common cause is due to a virus which needs to run its course. The symptoms usually start with nausea and vomiting for the first day then proceed to several days of diarrhea. Fever, achiness and stomach cramps are typically experienced for the first day or two.
Treatment is focused on symptom management. Using anti-nausea medication is helpful to keep down liquids and such medication can be prescribed orally or administered by injection at your doctor’s office. Hydration is the key to element since you lose so much fluid from vomiting and diarrhea. Once liquids are tolerated, advancing slowly to a BRATT (bananas, rice, applesauce, tea and toast) diet is recommended. Bananas are a natural source of potassium which can help with the loss of potassium in diarrhea but it is also a natural way to slow down your bowel movements.
If you know that someone around you has the stomach flu, keep some distance. Avoid sharing food or drinks and ensure proper hand-washing for all parties involved. Sometimes, you can do all the “prevention” possible and the stomach bug still finds you!
Get medical attention if you have uncontrolled vomiting or are experiencing signs of severe dehydration.