What is Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis, commonly known as “a stomach bug,” or “stomach flu,” is an inflammation or infection of the intestines. It typically causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and dehydration. In most cases, the infection clears within a few days, but sometimes it takes longer. The primary risk is dehydration.
What causes it?
Gastroenteritis can be caused by a parasite, bacteria or a number of many different kinds of viruses. The two most common viral types are rotavirus and norovirus. Although not as common, bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can also trigger the stomach flu.
What are the symptoms of this condition?
Common stomach bug symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, cramping and abdominal pain, infrequent urination and even fever.
How is it diagnosed and what is the treatment? If the symptoms stated above seem to be present in your child, he or she may need to be treated for a stomach bug. Symptoms of gastroenteritis often settle within a few days or so, as a child’s immune system is usually able to clear the infection. Children can often be treated at home. Symptoms of dehydration include dry lips and mouth, cool hands and feet, no urination for over 8 hours, and drowsiness. If any of these symptoms are present, visiting your pediatrician or coming to Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care is a good idea to get your child checked out. Occasionally, admission to a hospital may be needed if symptoms are severe, or if complications develop.
What can you do? Typical at home treatment for the stomach bug is to give your child plenty to drink. This may mean administering special rehydration drinks. Avoid juices, milk and carbonated beverages. Clear liquids such as water and electrolyte drinks are best. Offer bland foods the first day, then once dehydration is treated with drinks, encourage your child to eat as normally as possible. Don’t administer any medicines to stop diarrhea as those may prolong the illness.
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care has 7 locations in San Antonio and 2 locations in the Houston area. We are open from 9am–9pm Mon.-Fri., 9am-6pm on Sat., and 10am-6pm on Sun. For more information, please call 210.543.7334. We welcome walk-ins, accept most insurance plans and are happy to be part of the San Antonio and Houston community!