Gastroenteritis (gastro) is a bowel infection, most often caused by a virus but can also be caused by bacteria or parasites. If your baby is less than 6 months old and gets gastroenteritis, see a doctor, as young babies can become dehydrated very quickly.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis:
- Dry Lips and skin
- Sunken eyes
- Reduced Appetite
- Tummy pains
- Rapid and deep breathing
- Cold hands or feet
- Children with gastroenteritis need to drink plenty of fluids and most recover in a few days.
- Children with more severe gastroenteritis may need to be admitted to the hospital to be given fluids via a nasogastric tube and monitored
How long does gastroenteritis last
The vomiting may finish quickly but diarrhea can last for more than 10 days. This doesn’t matter as long as your child is drinking enough fluids, rehydrating and the condition seems to be improving.
When to see a doctor
- Symptoms lasting for more than 2 days
- Severe dehydration
- Mucus or blood in the child’s stool
- Persistent tummy ache and fever
How to help prevent the spread of gastroenteritis
- Don’t send children to school when sick
- Avoid public swimming pool areas
- Make sure your child washes hands with antibacterial soap
- Make sure your child doesn’t share food or drinks with anyone else.