A stomach virus usually comes with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It is possible to have a fever with a stomach virus, at least initially. Stomach viruses can be easily spread to household members and those in close contact. We do not usually give children any medication to treat a stomach virus. Treatment is focused on keeping your child hydrated.
If your child has just vomited, wait 30 minutes before trying to give them any fluids. Then give one small sip of either water or Pedialyte. Wait 3-5 minutes than give another sip. Continue to offer slow small sips over the next hour. If your child is not cooperating, try using a syringe and giving the fluids to them just like you would give medicine. Once your child has held down the clear fluids for at least 2 hours you can try to give milk/formula or food. Again be sure to do only small amounts at a time to be sure your child can tolerate it. Usually kids do not feel like eating when they have a stomach virus, but if your child is hungry offer bland foods such as cereal, rice, pasta, or crackers. Once your child has gone several hours without vomiting you may advance the diet to include proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Sometimes, particularly after having prolonged diarrhea it is difficult for the body to tolerate lactose. Therefore, if it seems that giving your child milk products makes the diarrhea (or vomiting) worse, try a lactose free or soy formula or milk. Once your child has been symptom free for over 24 hours you may put them back onto regular milk products.
Signs of Dehydration:
- Decreased urine output
- Dry mucus membranes (no drool, no tears)
When to come in:
- If you are worried your child may be dehydrated
- If they are unable to tolerate even small sips of water.
- If your child has diarrhea for more than 5 days
- If there is fever over 103