Also known as gastroenteritis (or “gastro”); a virus usually causes the stomach flu.

What are the symptoms?

  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • Blood/mucous in the bowel movement

How does it spread?

  • Direct contact
  • Indirect contact with germs on hands, toys or other objects

What can you do as a parent to help your child?

  • Try to replace the fluids your child loses through vomiting and diarrhea a little at a time; too much at once may cause additional vomiting.
  • Use an oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration. A spoon or medicine dropper can be used to give your child the oral rehydration solution if they are too young to use a cup or a sipper
    • If you are breastfeeding your child, nurse at a greater frequency, but shorter periods of time
    • Children under 2 years of age should wet a minimum of four diapers/day
    • Children older than two should urinate three or four times per day.
    • Do not worry if your child has not eaten for a few days; the important thing is that your child remains hydrated
  • Give acetaminophen (such as Tempra®) or ibuprofen for fever. The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend giving ibuprofen to babies under 6 months old without first talking to your physician
  • If your child is vomiting, you can use rectal suppositories to reduce fever