How long is my toddler contagious after having the stomach flu?

(June 1, 2010)

Toddler Stomach Flu

Stomach flu is a common disorder that affects children. Also known as gastroenteritis, this disorder is caused by any of several viruses. Stomach flu results in an inflammation of the digestive tract, thereby making it difficult for your toddler to retain food. The viruses that are commonly responsible for stomach flu in toddlers are the adenovirus, the rotavirus, astrovirus and calcivirus. Since stomach flu is generally caused by a viral infection, it cannot be treated with the help of antibiotics. You can, however, easily care for stomach flu at home with the help of a few simple health precautions and remedies. Your toddler may however, be suffering from a bacterial infection as well. A bacterial infection is more serious and may require medical attention. Consult your pediatrician immediately to help isolate the underlying cause of your child’s stomach flu and to determine the course of treatment required. The most common symptoms of stomach flu in toddlers include vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, your toddler may suffer from a fever, body ache and chills. Depending on the underlying cause of gastroenteritis, your toddler may experience mild to severe symptoms. Most toddlers become infected with stomach flu on account of contaminated water or food. It is thus important to practice hygienic cooking practices to help prevent contamination by stomach flu. Always make sure that food is covered and stored in a clean place. Ensure that your toddler’s utensils and feeding equipment are well sterilized before use. In addition, you should practice frequent washing of your own as well as your child’s hands. Children’s hands tend to be covered with bacteria and can be potentially harmful for them if not cleaned thoroughly. One of the most effective ways to prevent stomach flu is to wash your toddler’s hands and feet well after he/she comes back home after being outdoors or at a playschool.

Toddler stomach flu can be very contagious and can spread from an infected person to another through sharing utensils and personal articles. The incubation period for the stomach virus is usually five days and your toddler may take up to ten days to recover from his/her symptoms. During this period, it is advisable to isolate your toddler and ensure that you don’t share any personal articles like linens, towels and utensils. Your toddler can be contagious for a maximum period of ten days, after which he/she can return to a normal diet and most symptoms will have subsided.

Submitted by P T on June 1, 2010 at 04:02

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