Q: My son is 11 months old and recently had the stomach flu. He vomited and had diarrhea for four days. His formula made the diarrhea worse. I switched to Pedialyte and it got a little better. He's fine now. What should I do if he gets this again? Is it better to give him just Pedialyte and no formula since he is eating solids? Or should I continue giving him formula even though it makes the diarrhea worse?
A: You need to replace the lost body fluids when a baby is sick with a stomach flu. Fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause severe dehydration if not treated.
A stomach flu just has to run its course. That means there is no treatment for it. The most important thing parents should do is keep the child hydrated.
Giving your baby oral electrolyte drinks, such as Pedialyte, is fine. Plain water is not good enough. If formula or regular food makes your baby's symptoms worse, it's okay to give your baby just Pedialyte until his stomach is more settled.
Gradually bring formula or other foods back into his diet. It may seem to make it a bit worse at first, but do not worry. As long as the baby is getting more in than he is losing, that's fine.
Try to get your baby back to his normal diet as soon as possible. A normal diet provides all the nutrients to help fight the virus that caused the stomach flu and make the infection go away more quickly.
The most common symptoms of the stomach flu are vomiting and diarrhea. You may also see belly pain, fever, or headache.
The stomach flu can be caused by many different viruses. The virus can pass easily between people or from contaminated food. Because the stomach flu is highly contagious, always practice good hand washing, especially when someone in your home has it.
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