Again today, in A&E, 9 out out of 10 patients were Acute Gastroenteritis. The condition usually starts with vomiting and then may stop there or progress to diarrhoea as well. Sometimes it’s just diarrhoea without vomiting.
Most important management is prevention of dehydration. Solids are usually not tolerated, so Diarolyte (Oral Rehydration solution) should be given, 5 mls every 5 min. Some children are not low in salt, in which case they may prefer to drink water or diluted Apple juice! http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2518402
Most cases are viral not bacterial and so ANTIBIOTICS WILL NOT HELP. They may be harmful on the other hand as they wipe out the good bacteria from the gut. Sometimes there can be blood in the stool as well, in which case you should take your child to the doctor.If vomiting is not stopping or child is becoming drowsy, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Diarrhoea may persist for upto a week or two. Sometimes they develop ‘Transient Lactose intolerance‘ and may have to go Lactose free for a week or two. It is a temporary condition and gets better with time. There are some Lactose free milk available in the market, like APtamil Lactose free milk.