Stomach Flu Treatment in Toddlers
The stomach flu can stop your active toddler right in his tracks. You feel helpless as a parent when your toddler has the stomach flu. It can be horrible to watch your toddler vomit and have diarrhea. There is little you can do except to keep your toddler hydrated and comfortable.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if your pediatrician determines that your toddler’s stomach flu is bacterial. Be sure to give all the doses of the antibiotic. Do not give your toddler anti-diarrhea medication unless prescribed by a doctor. Anti-diarrhea medication can prolong the stomach flu. You can give Tylenol or Ibuprofen for a fever. Be sure to follow dosing instructions carefully.
Dehydration is a concern when your toddler has stomach flu. It is important to replace fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting. If your toddler has trouble keeping anything down, offer small sips of an electrolyte solution, like Pedialyte, throughout the day. As she is able to keep that down, offer different types of liquid, like water and milk. Broth, ice pops and ice chips are also great choices for fluid.
Do not force your toddler to eat. Offer food as your child tolerates it. Offer small meals and snacks throughout the day. Give more food as your child is able to keep it down. Start with bland food choices like yogurt, pasta, rice, vegetables without sauce, and fruit. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) no longer recommends the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet because it lacks vital nutrients.
When to see the doc
Contact your pediatrician if your toddler has been vomiting for more than two days or has diarrhea that is bloody or has mucus in it. Also, contact your pediatrician if you suspect your toddler is becoming dehydrated. Make sure your toddler is urinating at least once every eight hours. When your toddler cries, make sure there are tears. Crying without tears is another sign of dehydration. Your toddler may require fluids given intravenously if he is dehydrated.
One of the main ways to prevent getting the stomach flu is to wash your toddler’s hands regularly, especially before eating. If you cannot wash her hands, use a hand sanitizer. Make sure to wash your hands after taking care of your toddler. Wear gloves when you are washing her clothing and bedding. Wipe down all fixtures that are touched often, such as light switches, door knobs and bathroom fixtures.