Young children continually pull various objects into their mouths. It’s good if this happens at home, and these are clean toys. But it can also happen on the street, on the playground and in other places where no one will vouch for you for the cleanliness of the item taken in a mouth. That is why children often have intestinal infections. In addition, children are often united in children’s groups (kindergarten, school’, children’s camp, etc.), where any infection can spread quite quickly. This article can prepare you to fight with one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis – Norovirus.
So what should parents do?
Parents need to teach children to practice their own hygiene – to wash hands, not to take food from the floor, not to take to a mouth something that was lying on the street, etc. Of course, this will not protect the child from an intestinal infection, but still, reduce the risk of its occurrence.
Main symptoms of norovirus:
The main symptoms are the manifestation of gastroenteritis, and usually, gastritis complaints (vomiting) come first, unlike rotavirus infection.
The incubation period of the disease (the period of time from contact with the patient until the first symptoms appear) is short: from 1 to 3 days (on average 36 hours).
So, the main signs are:
vomiting, including repeated, indomitable;
paroxysmal abdominal pain;
rumbling in the stomach;
the presence of mucus in the feces;
respiratory symptoms (runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing);
muscle and joint pain, headache;
an increase in body temperature (not the most characteristic symptom, the disease can occur at normal or even low temperature).
Antiemetics, painkillers, drugs that block peristalsis can be used to alleviate symptoms, but they can be given only after consulting a pediatrician and receiving his recommendations.
What you can do if your child has a Norovirus:
If the child has already contracted Norovirus infection, then you need to carefully monitor its condition, especially if it is a very small child. Norovirus infection can cause repeated vomiting in children. But, unlike adults, in children, dehydration occurs much faster. In such a situation, severe dehydration can lead to the death of the child. Therefore, in such a situation, it is necessary to begin hydrating your child as soon as possible. For this, fractional drinking is used. The child is given liquid by a teaspoon with an interval of about 15 minutes, which allows the liquid to be absorbed. Most preferably water with electrolytes, if not, then you can give mineral water (after releasing the gas). The volume of fluid that a child should drink in the first 6-8 hours of the disease is approximately 100 ml per 1 kg of body weight for infants, and 50-80ml per 1 kg of body weight for children over 1 year of age.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
– fatigue and lethargy;
– a decrease in the amount of urine;
– dry mouth and throat, thirst;
– crying without tears.
If due to constant vomiting, you are unable to get enough hydration for the child or you see that the child is getting worse, then you urgently need to call an ambulance and go to the hospital, where the child can receive the necessary infusion therapy.
When do I need to see a doctor?
– diarrhea in a child does not go away for several days,
– severe vomiting,
– blood appeared in the stool, Severe abdominal pain
That the main protection against norovirus infection and other intestinal infections caused by viruses is not only personal hygiene prevention measures, but also a timely treatment for medical care in medical institutions, especially if it affects CHILDREN!
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Have a safe winter!
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