Stomach Bugs in Children

What is a stomach bug?

Stomach bugs, also called gastroenteritis, are very common in young children. Many stomach bugs are caused by viruses and can mean vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes a fever.

Stomach bugs in children

Most of the time, a child with a stomach bug doesn't need to go to the pediatrician or an emergency room. You can treat stomach bugs at home by making sure your child keeps drinking and gets plenty of rest.

Stomach bug and dehydration

Preventing dehydration is very important when your child has a stomach bug. Signs of dehydration in children include being very tired or listless, crying without tears, inside of the mouth being dry, and less urination.

Oral Rehydration Therapy (O.R.T.) is a method doctors use to prevent dehydration -- and you can use it at home by giving small amounts of fluid every 5 minutes for several hours.

When to call your primary care provider

You should take your child to the pediatrician if your child has: persistent vomiting (even after you tried O.R.T.), a high fever lasting several days, severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea or vomit. Children with chronic medical problems and children under 6 months of age should also see a doctor when they get a stomach bug.

Next Steps
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