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3 Key Tips for Treating Stomach Bugs

3 Key Tips for Treating Stomach Bugs

When your child experiences symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and fever as a result of a stomach virus, it's easy to feel helpless. But there are key ways you can help your child on the road to recovery. Here we've rounded up three important tips for treating a child with a stomach bug.

1. How to Prevent Dehydration

One of the most important things a mom can do when her child is sick with a stomach virus is to keep him hydrated. Many Circle of Moms members recommend focusing on sips of water, ice or ice chips, electrolyte solutions, or even frozen electrolyte solutions. As Emily G shares: "Pedialyte popsicles always do the trick in our house." Others, like Debbie L., suggest clear broths or soup.  

2. What to Eat and What to Avoid

"Once he has been fine for at least a day, start him on the BRAT diet," recommends Cara S., referring to an easily digestible diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. However, while this diet is safe for an upset stomach, it lacks protein. As soon as your child is able, consider including plain chicken. Other moms, like Lacey F., also recommend including yogurt in your child's diet, because "it can restore the good bacteria in thier digestive tract that might be out of balance." Foods to avoid include milk, acidic foods (like orange juice), fatty foods and sugary foods.



3. How to Treat a Fever

Either acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to treat a fever. (See also: Fever is Your Friend?). Some pediatricians also recommend alternating between the medications. As Ask Dr. Sears explains, "For very high or stubborn fevers, alternate between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen every three hours (i.e., give a dose of Acetaminophen then three hours later give Ibuprofen then three hours later Acetaminophen, etc.) These two medications are safe to use together like this."

Join The Conversation
StaceyHammett StaceyHammett 5 years
When your child can't keep anything in his stomach, soaking him in a lukewarm bath is a good idea. His body will naturally soak up water. Even after 48-72 hours of a stomach bug, my doctor initially thought I wasn't telling the truth about how long my child had it, because he wasn't severely dehydrated. This (and God's intervention) kept him out of the hospital. Just make sure you stay with your child. When they're that sick, I wouldn't risk leaving them alone!
LaurenKawaguchi LaurenKawaguchi 5 years
I second the breastfeeding comment- one of the best things you can do for a sick child (stomach flu or not!) is breastfeed. I notice that when my little one has a stomach bug, breastmilk stays put longer than even water. The other is to skip a fever reducer. The fever is the body's way of killing the nasty germs that are making your little one sick- they may be uncomfortable, but they will get better faster if they have a fever.
JackySavin JackySavin 5 years
My doctor suggested sipping on flat cola, I have found it works and I know others that it has worked for.
IvetteDavilaRichards IvetteDavilaRichards 5 years
You know this article even helped me personally!! Thanks.
susanbenz susanbenz 5 years
My boy has to watch with the stomach flu cause he cant keep anything down for some reason his blood sugar dropps
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