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Stomach Bugs Are Going Around

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I am sick of vomit!! I thought I was tired of coughs, but early in this “sick” season I am tired of being thrown up on. I must be showing my age. It seems that vomiting and diarrhea, also known as gastroenteritis, are in our community right now and it is hitting hard. Not only do the sweet little ones have this, so do the big kids and even their parents. I am just washing my hands feverishly and praying we don’t succumb at our house. You know you are a real parent when your child awakens you at night and says, “Mommy, I’m sick”, and then throws up all over you, the bedspread and the carpet. Boy, carpet cleaning companies must love this time of year.

So… if this hits your house, begin by not giving your child any fluids for at least 30 minutes after they vomit, even if they want something (I have learned that lesson the hard way, they beg, you relent and the throw up quickly follows). Then the key is to go VERY slowly with clear liquids, like pedialyte for a your-baby and Gatorade for older kids. You may need to start with as little as 1 TBSP or 1 oz. of fluids every 10 – 15 minutes in order that this small volume will stay down. Don’t fill up a bottle or cup as your child will be thirsty and tend to gulp too much and lo and behold, here they go again.

Once they are keeping down smaller volumes you can gradually increase the amount you give them and give it less frequently. As long as your child drinks enough to stay hydrated, with tears, wet mouth and urination, this nasty virus only seems to last about 12- 24 hours. If they continue to vomit despite your best efforts giving small frequent clear fluids, time to call the doctor.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again soon!

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