Pediatricians specializing in gastro-pediatrician, discuss the existing treatments and what to do when a child suffers from gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis affects thousands of children every year.  This disease is not trivial. More or less serious complications are possible, particularly in children.

What is gastroenteritis? Explanation from pediatricians.

Gastroenteritis is an infection that destroys the lining of the digestive tract and prevents water from being properly absorbed by the body. The water and electrolytes will then be evacuated through the stool, causing severe diarrhea. Gastroenteritis is most often caused by a virus, usually rotavirus, but can also result from a parasite or bacteria.

An extremely contagious infection

It is not uncommon for all family members to be sick when the virus enters the house. But we are not all equal in the face of disease. Of course, infants, the youngest members of the family, are obviously the most vulnerable, but also children whose general condition and weight loss must be carefully monitored are also very vulnerable.

Monitor weight and prevent dehydration

When a child has gastroenteritis, it is important to monitor the child’s weight loss.  When the weight loss is between 0 and 5%, the tension is low, the lips dry. 5%, there are skin folds and asthenia. Beyond 10%, the danger is imminent.

It is also important to prevent dehydration. You need to compensate for the loss of water and sugar. For babies up to 1 year of age, rehydration solutions are prescribed. When the child is older, you can give him hot sweet tea or soup with carrot, an ideal ingredient to help the intestine cut the cycle of diarrhea.

Gastroenteritis can last between 24 hours and 10 days, so it is important to allow your child to eat well and especially to drink well, to prevent him from getting too weak.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

It is now possible to vaccinate babies from 6 weeks of life. These vaccines (there are two) are only effective against rotavirus, the most common cause of gastroenteritis and which is observed, especially during the winter period. This vaccine will allow the child to make antibodies before being confronted with the disease.

However, this vaccine is not one of the compulsory vaccines and is not reimbursed by social security. It even has its opponents, and many pediatricians do not recommend the systematic vaccination of babies under 6 months because this vaccine is associated with a risk of acute intussusception. This medico-surgical emergency (characterized by the turning of the small intestine on itself) is sometimes observed in the week following the first vaccination.  The decision will be taken by the pediatrician in consultation with the parents.

Contact Pediatricians in Gastonia NC

Gastroenteritis affects a lot of children yearly, and it’s also highly contagious. You need to take proper care of your child when he is infected. You also need to take preventive measures to avoid the spread of the infection in the house. You may need to consult your pediatrician if gastroenteritis persists beyond 10 days.  Contact  Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offers top-quality pediatric care.