Gastroenteritis in infants: symptoms, duration and diet

The stomach flu or stomach flu It is a very common intestinal infection that usually lasts only a few two or three days. Although not serious, causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, in addition to fever and abdominal pain in some cases. There are no totally effective in combating this disease remedies, so we must do everything possible to prevent it, taking special care to food and drink. The dehydration It is positioned as one of the factors favoring both the appearance and the extension of gastroenteritis in young children. If you want to know more, we will detail the symptoms, duration and gastroenteritis diet.

Causes and Symptoms

Gastroenteritis happens a lot among young children, especially those who still have not reached 5 years old. In most cases it is caused by a virus, although there are cases where other types of bacteria They can cause it. It can cause the child to have a fever reaches 40 degrees, and you can even give the appearance of blood in stool. In other cases, there may be the viral gastroenteritis, characterized by inflammation of the stomach and have diarrhea and / or vomiting.

There are different viruses that cause gastroenteritis in children. Which it affects babies between 3 and 15 months is rotavirus, and is the leading cause of diarrhea in children under 5 years. Children can become infected by eating contaminated food or drink, and hardly would notice any change in the day of infection. Two days later appear vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and, sometimes, fever. These symptoms usually last from between 2 and 3 days, but there are cases that become present for a whole week.

Another virus that can cause gastroenteritis is the adenovirus, affecting children children under 2 years. This virus causes vomiting and diarrhea a week after infection.

He calicivirus It is the main cause of outbreaks viral gastroenteritis, whose symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue and headache.

Finally, the astrovirus It is capable of infecting especially babies and you cause vomiting and diarrhea.


Viral gastroenteritis usually resolves between 5 and 7 days. However, it is very important keep the child hydrated all the time symptoms appear, since failure to do so small you would dehydrate and last for more than a week, even in some cases may require hospitalization. There are cases where symptoms occur during more than 14 days, needing a special diet, antibiotics and intestinal resins for recovery.

It is contagious?

this infection It is highly contagious throughout the symptomatic phase and even a few days after his recovery, so it is necessary to follow a rules to prevent infection both at home and at daycare or school. For starters, it is very important wash hands. Avoid sharing toys, towels, cups and plates is also essential, so to be cleaned with soap and water objects and surfaces handled by the child. In this way, we avoid germs can also be spread through saliva.

Gastroenteritis with dehydration

One of the major risk factors It is dehydration, as vomiting and diarrhea make the small lose a lot of fluids. Clinical signs of dehydration are 5% loss of body weight, low skin temperature, skin, tongue dry, chapped lips, sunken eyes, dry mucous or crying without tears. In severe cases pale, sagging and rapid pulse occurs, being the small especially tired, very sleepy and depressed.


As already mentioned above, there is no completely effective therapy for gastroenteritis. We have only to prevent dehydration and follow a diet that make symptoms are more bearable until they disappear.


The first thing we recommend is you should drink more liquids, especially drinks that are made for athletes, because they contain a lot of mineral salts that help the small to avoid dehydration. They can also make lemonade or homemade soups. It is important to try to give the cold liquids, as hot drinks favor vomiting.

As power is advisable to introduce a soft diet food easily digestible, such as white rice, toast, crackers, potatoes or apples. With this you get to feel better if you have diarrhea or frequent vomiting. Yes, always avoiding them food with milk or tomato, as it would worsen diarrhea.

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