Does your child have constant tummy aches? Is your youngster dealing with vomiting or watery stools? Does your child have a fever or body ache? These are some common signs of stomach flu which is prevalent during the winter season. Stomach flu is widespread in children of all ages and is unavoidable because you can’t stop them from playing and getting infected. Keep reading to find out the causes, symptoms, prevention and foods to manage stomach flu in children.
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What is Stomach flu?
Stomach flu is also called gastroenteritis. Stomach flu is the viral infection which is highly communicable that leads to intestinal inflammation or irritation. Though gastroenteritis is commonly referred to as flu, it is not the same as influenza. “Flu” can affect the respiratory system but “stomach flu” affects the stomach and intestines.
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Causes of stomach flu
Rotavirus and Norovirus are the main causes of stomach flu. Symptoms usually emerge after coming into touch with an infected person. They can also happen as a result of consuming contaminated food or water. Children can become ill if they:
- Touching infected material, then food or their mouth.
- Sharing contaminated foods or drinks
- Being with an infected individual, even if they aren’t sick.
- Not wash their hands properly
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Symptoms of stomach flu
Some common signs of stomach flu are given as follows:
- Stomach pain
- Watery stools or diarrhea
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Rotavirus vaccination can prevent children from stomach flu. Here are some other prevention strategies that can help to manage stomach flu in children:
Handwashing is critical in preventing the spread of the disease. Viruses on your hands can readily spread to surfaces, food, and individuals you come into contact with. Make sure that your kids thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom, touching any washroom surfaces, and before handling food.
Proper food handling
Stomach flu can be spread through contaminated food or water.
- Clean the kitchen surfaces with disinfectants
- Don’t consume undercooked eggs or meat
- Consume pasteurised milk or juices
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
Also check, Tips to maintain personal hygiene
Foods that help to manage stomach flu
If you keep yourself hydrated, it controls the level of acid in gastric juice as well as the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Water intake is as important for the gut as food intake. You can also offer your kids. Coconut water which helps to heal the inflammation of the stomach and buttermilk which neutralises stomach acids.
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2.SUGAR SALT SOLUTION:
The body loses a lot of sugar and salt during diarrhea, which is the main cause of dehydration in kids. The first home remedy for diarrhea is homemade sugar salt solution. Boil one liter water, let it cool, now add one teaspoon of salt and 8 teaspoons of sugar. Give this solution in a regular interval. This is an excellent remedy to keep your baby hydrated during diarrhea.
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It is best to give during diarrhea as it helps to harden the stool. Banana is the rich source of potassium, which helps to balance electrolytes lost due to frequent loose motions. It is a rich source of iron and fiber which contributes to a healthy digestive tract. It is a superfood which can be used as a complete plant to treat digestion.
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Probiotics are live bacteria that aids in digestion and maintain the gut health. These “beneficial” bacteria are rich in foods like yogurt, kefir and kanji. Probiotics help to reduce the inflammation of stomach lining.
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5.FRUCTO-OLIGOSACCHARIDES (FOS- PREBIOTIC FIBRE)
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are composed of short fructose chains. They are a type of carbohydrate called oligosaccharides. FOS occurs naturally in many plants. They are prebiotic fibres that support the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract which in turn stops the spread of Helicobacter pylori. It helps in reducing the symptoms of stomach flu.
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Ginger has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help heal internal infections. This is a reason why ginger juice stands to be effective in treating diarrhoea in children. Add some grated ginger to 500ml of boiling water. Drain the water and let it cool . Give sip of this drink to your child throughout the day
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While suffering from diarrhoea, a glass full of lemon juice can help ease the symptoms by neutralising the acids in the stomach and countering infections.
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8. RICE WATER:
Rice water is starchy water left after rice is cooked. It is a great source of energy, as it contains carbohydrates. It also maintains the fluid level of the body and decreases the frequency of stool.
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FOODS TO AVOID
When your child is having stomach flu, you should avoid giving these foods.
- Milk and dairy products
- Fried and greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- Processed foods specially those with additive
- Foods that cause extra gas like such as cabbage, beans, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Also check, Foods chart for 6 months old babies
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