Health Visitor Blog
Sickness and Diarrhoea
There are several reasons why children get sickness and diarrhoea, such as gastroenteritis, food allergy, food poisoning, infection or appendicitis and unfortunately the symptoms can be very unpleasant. One of the most common causes of sickness and diarrhoea in babies and young children under the age of 5 is gastroenteritis and this is an infection of the gut caused by a bacteria or virus. It is unpleasant but most children will feel better in a few days.
One of the main problems with sickness and diarrhoea is that it can quickly cause dehydration which can become life threatening (NHS Choices, 2016). In most cases of sickness and diarrhoea, your child can be looked after at home, carefully ensuring that they are adequately hydrated as it important to replace the fluids that are being lost.
Recommendations for Prevention.
Sometimes, vomiting and diarrhoea can be a sign of something more serious and parents are advised to contact their GP if (NHS Choices, 2016):
If you can’t get hold of your GP then contact your local out of hours or hospital.
When to attend A&E
If your child is presenting with Red Flag symptoms alongside the diarrhoea and vomiting then you are advised to go straight to A&E. Red Flag Symptoms include (NICE, 2009),