Pediatrics advice on food poisoning

Pediatrics in Gatonia, NC

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Food poisoning is a regular hazard during the Thanksgiving season that pediatrics specialists and primary care physicians must face. If you’re preparing a home-cooked meal, you can minimize the risk by being as careful as possible when handling food — defrosting the turkey just the right way, never letting any dish sit out too long, cooking everything to just the right temperature, and so on. That said, this is precisely the time of year when that much care is hardest to exercise.

Symptoms of food poisoning much like stomach flu

Food poisoning can be caused by salmonella, staphylococcus, E. coli, Listeria, Shigella, hepatitis A or Campylobacter. With most types of food poisoning, symptoms appear within an hour or so. Pediatrics experts say this is especially likely if a child gets food poisoning. The most common symptoms are cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, weakness and headache. It resembles the stomach flu. but is usually more sudden and severe when it appears. However, in some cases, symptoms can take days or weeks to manifest.

In the case of staphylococcus, the poisoning comes from a literal poison — a toxin produced by the bacteria. (An important safety note is that this toxin survives the cooking process. If you suspect that a food item may have been contaminated, don’t assume that heating it up enough will make it safe to eat.) Symptoms appear one to eight hours after eating.

You can usually treat it at home

In most cases, this doesn’t require special pediatrics care. The thing to do is treat it like a mild case of the flu — make sure your child gets lots of rest, stays warm and drinks plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated. Then just wait it out. The main difference is that you shouldn’t give him or her milk or anything caffeinated — this will only make him or her thirstier — and you shouldn’t use the usual anti-diarrheal medications.

You should call a doctor, however, if your child’s pulse is too rapid or loud, if his or her temperature rises above 101°F, if symptoms of severe dehydration appear, if vomiting lasts more than 12 hours, if severe abdominal pain continues even after a bowel movement, or if your child’s bowel movements are black or otherwise discolored. You should also call a doctor if these symptoms appear just after a trip overseas, or if your child is suffering from a weakened immune system.

A pediatrics practice in Gastonia, NC 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.