How to Tell If Your One Year Old Has the Stomach Flu?

The stomach flu, also called viral gastroenteritis, is an infection that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Young children typically contract this infection by coming in contact with an infected person or contaminated food or water. The infection may occur within a day to three days after coming in contact with a sick person. The stomach flu typically resolves without treatment within a day or two; however, there are times when your child needs to see her pediatrician.

A stressed mother holds her baby. (Image: Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Monitor your child's appetite. A child with the stomach flu might feel nauseated. She won't be interested in eating or drinking. Your child might also be disinterested in her normal playtime activities.

Step 2

Watch your 1-year-old's mood. A child with the stomach flu will feel more irritable and might hold her stomach. The stomach flu often causes stomach cramping.

Step 3

Take your child's temperature. This type of virus might cause a low-grade fever, according to the Mayo Clinic website. If your child's fever gets higher than 102.2 Fahrenheit, however, contact with her doctor right away. A high fever in young children may signal a more serious infection.

Step 4

Check your child's diaper. Watery diarrhea typically occurs with the stomach flu. Your 1-year-old might need more frequent diaper changes, or express discomfort while having a bowel movement.

Step 5

Contact a doctor right away if your child continues to vomit for more than several hours or hasn't had a wet diaper in six hours, recommends the Mayo Clinic. If you observe blood inside his vomit or bowel movements, it's also time to contact the doctor. A child with dry mouth, or who cries without tears, should also receive professional care.

Tip

Give your child plenty of fluids, because stomach flu causes dehydration in young children. Encourage your child to drink clear fluids, such as water. Have her take tiny sips about an hour after the vomiting has stopped. Once she keeps the water down, talk with her doctor about providing an electrolyte drink and solids, such as saltine crackers and dry toast.

Warning

Prevent your 1-year-old from developing stomach flu in the future by encouraging her to wash her hands frequently. Teach your child to wash her hands before eating and after playing. Also, discourage her from sharing utensils.

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