Pediatric practicePediatric practice advice on food poisoning

One thing every pediatric practice dreads this time of year is dealing with food poisoning. Food sits out on the counter or the table too long, too many dishes are prepared in too much of a hurry, turkey doesn’t get defrosted quite right, and stuffing gets cooked the wrong way… things happen.

Proper care and handling of food, of course, can minimize this risk. Nonetheless, pediatric specialists recommend you learn the symptoms of food poisoning, which can be caused by a variety of different viruses or bacteria — salmonella, staphylococcus, E. coli, Listeria, Shigella, hepatitis A or Campylobacter.

Recognizing the symptoms

Some types of food poisoning take days or weeks to appear after eating the offending food, but most appear within an hour or so, especially in children. They most often suffer from cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, weakness and headache. This is typically more sudden and severe in its onset than a case of the stomach flu.

Dealing with food poisoning

In most cases, you don’t need to visit the pediatric practice for this. Keep your child at home, make sure he or she drinks plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated and wait it out. Don’t give him or her milk or anything caffeinated, as this will exacerbate thirst. Don’t use any of the usual anti-diarrheal medications.

There are, however, certain circumstances under which calling a doctor is necessary:

  • If these symptoms appear after a recent trip overseas, you should call a doctor.
  • If your child shoes symptoms of severe dehydration, including lightheadedness, dizziness, sunken eyes, extreme thirst and not peeing very much, you need medical help to keep him or her hydrated.
  • If your child suffers from vomiting for more than 12 hours, or if severe abdominal pain continues even after a bowel movement, call a doctor.
  • If your child is already suffering from a health condition that causes a weakened immune system, don’t wait for symptoms to get any worse before calling a doctor.
  • If your child’s bowel movements are black, reddish or bloody, call a doctor.
  • Check your child’s pulse. If it’s too rapid or loud, call a doctor.

* Monitor your child’s temperature. If it goes higher than 101°F (38.3°C), call a doctor.

A pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC that you can rely on

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric practice conveniently located west of Charlotte.It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you are looking for a pediatric practice, call today.