Stomach Flu in Children
In order to make a stomach flu diagnosis in children, the doctor will ask a number of questions about the child's medical history and will usually perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of stomach flu. In some cases, he or she may test the stool to identify the specific type virus causing the stomach flu.
There is no medicine that will kill stomach flu. Therefore, treatment in children is focused on providing supportive care while the body fights the infection. Supportive care refers to treating symptoms, such as dehydration, that occur as a result of the stomach flu infection.
Children present special concerns. Because of their smaller body size, children are at greater risk of dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting. Oral rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte®, can replace lost fluids, minerals, and salts.
Parents of children with severe diarrhea should start them on oral rehydration and take their child for medical evaluation. In severe cases requiring a visit to the emergency room or hospitalization, stomach flu treatment may involve replacing body fluids through the veins using an intravenous (IV) line.
(Click Stomach Flu Treatment for more information.)
Fortunately, for children with healthy immune systems, the body is able to effectively kill stomach flu, and after 1 to 10 days, stomach flu symptoms generally start to improve.