Stomach viruses, also known as gastroenteritis, are a common source of diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain for children 3. Recurrent stomach viruses should alert caregivers that something in the child’s environment is contributing to this chronic re-infection. The most concerning aspect of gastroenteritis is dehydration; children process their nutrients much quicker than adults and can quickly become dehydrated and ill.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Poor Hand Hygiene
Hand hygiene, or lack thereof, is a factor in gastroenteritis in children 3. This is especially crucial in day care centers, where the viral illness can repeat a cycle from caregiver to child to caregiver. Recurrent stomach viruses frequently develop due to rotavirus and norovirus; both are highly contagious. Caregivers aren't the only ones responsible for disease transmission. Young children must be taught proper hand washing at an early age to prevent recurrent infections.
- Hand hygiene, or lack thereof, is a factor in gastroenteritis in children 3.
How to Get the Stomach Flu
Gastroenteritis is sometimes informally referred to as food poisoning. The viruses that cause stomach flu can live on foods, preparation surfaces and in some meats When children eat at mass food environments, such as cafeterias, the chance of getting gastroenteritis escalates. Other contributions to this stomach illness include eating improperly washed fruits and vegetables. Mayonnaise, especially in foods such as salads, can cause recurrent gastroenteritis in children when not stored properly.
- Gastroenteritis is sometimes informally referred to as food poisoning.
- The viruses that cause stomach flu can live on foods, preparation surfaces and in some meats When children eat at mass food environments, such as cafeterias, the chance of getting gastroenteritis escalates.
Immature Immune Systems
Every system in a child’s body, including her immune system and response, is growing and maturing. Kidshealth says the actual age varies, but most children do not reach physical maturity until their late teens. The immune system has a memory that allows it to respond quicker to any invading microbes, such as those causative of gastroenteritis. Immature immune systems, especially children’s, are susceptible to stomach flu and other invading pathogens more than adults.
- Every system in a child’s body, including her immune system and response, is growing and maturing.
- The immune system has a memory that allows it to respond quicker to any invading microbes, such as those causative of gastroenteritis.
How to Get the Stomach Flu
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- IHealthSpot.com: Pediatric Stomach Flu
- Medline Plus: Bacterial Gastroenteritis
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Gastroenteritis in Children—Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment
- American Journal of Epidemiology: Handwashing to Prevent Diarrhea in Daycare Centers
- Kidshealth.org:Your Child’s Growth
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- Parashar UD, Nelson EA, Kang G. Diagnosis, management, and prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children. BMJ. 2013;347:f7204. doi:10.1136/bmj.f7204
- Ejemot-nwadiaro RI, Ehiri JE, Arikpo D, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing promotion for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(9):CD004265. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004265.pub3
- Stuempfig ND, Seroy J. Viral Gastroenteritis. [Updated 2019 Mar 15]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-
- "Viral Gastroenteritis". MedlinePlus 7 Nov 14. US National Library of Medicine. US Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health.
- "Preventing Norovirus Infection". Norovirus 3 Jun 14. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Steckelberg, MD, James M. "Viral Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)". Diseases and Conditions 6 Mar 12. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
As a bachelor's-prepared registered nurse with more than 15 years of diversified experience, Juliet Wilkinson innerves our health-conscious population through expert articles. She is a motivated professional who believes that preventive care is the first step towards health and well-being.