Every parent will eventually hear the dreaded words: “My tummy hurts.” As a worried parent, you may immediately begin to panic imagining the worse. Yet, what your child may have is a simple case of the stomach virus.
No, surviving a stomach virus is not simple. It is no fun when we have them and it is even worse if we are a parent of a child with a stomach virus.
Yet, we know eventually every parent will, in fact, have to deal with this virus. It is an ultimate conclusion since this type of virus can spread through an entire classroom or day care center.
Luckily, the common stomach virus rotavirus has been on the decline thanks to a new vaccine. But another strain of this virus is on the increase.
What are you to do if you are a parent of a child who has the stomach virus?
Learn what you can about the virus before your child gets it. Knowledge is power. If you know to expect, you are not only forewarned, you can be more prepared, if only mentally.
Understand that the stomach virus is not the flu. It does not involve the respiratory system.
Understand how the stomach virus is spread throughout the air from a sick person who coughs or sneezes. A person can also pick up the virus from infected objects. Objects can be infected from touching them after sneezing, coughing, vomiting or the passing of stool and not washing their hands correctly after the act.
Know the symptoms of the stomach virus. The common symptoms are: diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. A person who is suffering from the virus may also develop fever and body aches.
Consider taking your child to the doctor. You should have your family doctor rule out the possibility of food poisoning or appendicitis. Beware that fever does not usually go along with food poisoning and diarrhea not does often go along with appendicitis.
Skip the medications until you speak to your child’s doctor. Some medications can make it more difficult for your doctor to diagnose whether your child actually has the stomach virus and some medications may cause toxins to lay in your child’s system longer.
If your child is hungry, allow him/her to eat. But you should steer clear of spicy foods, fruit juices and hard to digest foods such as ice cream.
If you think your child could be dehydrated, consult your doctor promptly. If your younger child has had a dry diaper for six hours or an older child has not urinated in 12 hours, consult your doctor immediately.
Realize that the virus is contagious. Yet, you can take precautions to help stop the spread. Wash your hands often while caring for your sick child. If you can’t get to soap and water, use an alcohol based hand gel. Wash hard surfaces with disinfectant (door knobs, commode level) to remove germs. Don’t share cups, pillows, towels or utensils.
Knowing the facts about the stomach virus and how it may affect your child won’t stop him/her from developing it. But the knowledge you learn about the virus may ease your mind and will definitely help you to pinpoint if your child needs medical attention or further medical attention.
Note: The writer of the above article is not a physician. Therefore the article should not be considered medical advice. The article is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your physician before taking any products or following any advice you read online.