Flu in general is caused by some type of virus. Stomach flu is a disease most common in children and babies which affects their intestines.
This causes symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, chills, and vomiting. Usually, the flu goes away on its own and doesn’t require any special medications.
With the following precautions, your child can avoid catching the flu and be safe from the disease. Also, we shall discuss how to treat the condition if your child is affected by it.
How to Prevent a Baby from Getting Stomach Flu?
Preventing stomach flu in babies is quite easy if you make sure to follow these measures every day and be watchful of your babies.
Keep Your House Clean
Generally, babies contract such diseases from dirty floors. Especially the toddlers who have started to crawl around keep their hands at different places and keep them in their mouth too.
If the floor is dirty, it may allow some viruses to enter into the baby’s system and cause diseases like stomach flu.
Therefore, always keep your house floor clean using harmless floor cleaners and make sure you use disinfectants.
Apart from the floor, if you are using a carpet, make sure to wash it periodically and use a vacuum cleaner to wipe the dust away regularly.
On the whole, try to maintain cleanliness and hygiene wherever your child might reach.
Wash your baby’s hand
Many people often ignore washing their baby’s hands and this is one of the major reasons to contract stomach flu. Since your baby doesn’t know what to touch and what to put into their mouths, it is very important to keep their hands clean.
Make sure to wipe their hands with a wet towel regularly. You may also wash the baby’s hands in running water periodically.
If you find them sitting for some time after they have crawled for a while, then wash their hands thoroughly. You can use just plain running water to wash their hands.
Since the baby takes its hands to the mouth, don’t use any type of soap, disinfectant, or hand wash to wash their hands.
Clean your Baby’s Toys
Toys are highly prone to impurities and if your baby has a companion to play then there are more chances of contracting the flu.
The playthings are often ignored to be disinfected or cleaned, which eventually holds more dirt than you imagine. So, it is very important to clean your baby’s toys more frequently.
There are washable toys available in the stores and try to buy such things for your babies. Use mild soap or detergent to wash away the impurities in the toys.
It is better to soak the toys in a disinfectant for some after washing them with soap. Then remove it from the disinfectant and wash it thoroughly in running water.
Dry the toys in sunlight for some time to make them cleaner and safer from microbes.
Also, Read these posts:
- Home Remedies for Infants with Diarrhea
- How to Treat Pneumonia in Babies Naturally?
- How to Cure Baby Thrush at Home
- How to Reduce High Body Temperature in Babies?
What causes Stomach Flu in babies?
Stomach flu is usually caused by any one of the following three viruses:
Among these three, the Norovirus is the commonly found cause for stomach flu in children below the age of 5. This flu is highly contagious, which means, if your baby has contracted the flu, most probably other children will be affected by the disease too.
The virus is also highly active. As soon as the baby gets infected, the virus starts to attack the intestines and upsets the digestive system. This leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
How to Treat Stomach Flu?
The baby’s body has the capacity to fight the flu by itself and doesn’t need any kind of special medication. But in order to ease the symptoms and aid the body to fight against the infection, you can make use of the following remedies and treat the baby.
Avoid Feeding the Baby
Whether your baby is breastfed or she is being given food, stop it immediately. Let the baby’s stomach rest and get settled till the infection is fully out of the system.
The babies will often avoid eating during such episodes and parents are requested not to force-feed them. Force-feeding will lead to more vomiting and diarrhea.
If you fear the baby getting too weak or dehydrated, you may give some water. Or you mix a drop of honey with water and feed it to the baby. This will rehydrate and provide the energy to fight the infection off.
Don’t upset the baby’s digestive system furthermore by feeding food.
Let your Baby Rest
During such conditions, your baby needs to be at rest completely. Don’t let the baby play around. If your baby has intense vomiting or diarrhea, she might be very weak. During such times it is important to take a rest.
If your baby has vomited or had an episode of diarrhea, wait for some time before feeding her with liquids. This will allow the baby’s stomach to get settled and will avoid another episode of vomit.
It is important to rehydrate your baby once in a while to make sure she has some energy to withstand the fight against the infection.
Breastmilk and Light Food
Once your baby starts to recover, she might cry for food. If your baby is breastfed, feed her with breastmilk because it has all the required nutrition and antibodies to fight off the infection more efficiently.
If your baby is not breastfed, give her very light food that can be easily digestible and doesn’t require much energy. You can give smashed fruits or thoroughly boiled rice.
You can also give honey to your baby initially to regain her energy and this will also help the body to fight the infection effectively.
When do we need to Visit a Doctor?
If the symptoms have not receded within a day or two, then you can visit the doctor. Usually, there will not be any need for such visits.
But sometimes, the symptoms are very severe or get combined. This leads to intense vomiting combined with heavy diarrhea. Such episodes will lead to severe dehydration and fatigue. During such times, it is recommended to visit the doctor immediately.
Also, if your baby has new symptoms like fever or chills, take her to the hospital immediately to check the condition.
Stomach flu in babies is very common and there is nothing to worry about. Just if you allow the baby to rest and keep away from food they will recover soon.
Follow these remedies to ease their symptoms. To avoid contracting the flu, make sure you maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness in the house.