Gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the stomach and intestines, can spread so easily either through physical contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or drink. If you or your child has become infected, you are most likely to experience symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Although the illness is usually not a serious one, it can be potentially dangerous, especially in young children as it can lead to dehydration due to fluid loss from the diarrhea and vomit. This makes it important for you to treat it on time.
You do not need to visit the hospital for gastroenteritis, except if symptoms persist for more than a few days and other symptoms besides the ones normally associated with the condition begin to show up. To treat the condition at home, you should:
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. This is especially important for children as they can become dehydrated quickly. You can also use ORS(Oral Rehydration Solution) which can be bought from pharmacies
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat small amounts of plain foods like bread, rice and pasta
- Avoid spices, milk and other dairy products
Gastroenteritis can be prevented, after all ,and you or your child do not have to experience any of its unpleasant symptoms.
To prevent gastroenteritis therefore, here are some of the things you should do:
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water frequently and especially after you visit the toilet, change nappies, before preparing food and before eating. Also teach your child to do the same
- Do not eat food that is past its expiry date
- Always cook your food thoroughly