Food Poisoning in Children


Since food poisoning is the most common form of infection in children, it is definitely a cause of concern among parents. It is a type of gastroenteritis which has on an average 75 million victims ever year.  As the name suggests, food poisoning is caused by bacteria (Campylobacter, Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Escherichia coli) in undercooked food or food cooked with improper hygiene.

Causes of Food Poisoning

To prevent any illness, we must first know its causes:

  1. Consuming unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  2. Eating undercooked food.
  3. Eating food at unhygienic places. By unhygienic we do not only mean roadside food but also eateries where food is prepared un-hygienically.
  4. Contaminated water used for the preparation of food.
  5. Food stored at wrong temperature can be infected by bacteria.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

You may witness these symptoms in your little one if they have consumed contaminated food. These symptoms may be visible within hours or may even take 1-2 days after the start of food poisoning.

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Abdominal cramps
  4. Fever
  5. Stomach ache
  6. Weakness

Usually these tiny microorganisms do not have adverse effects on your baby’s body. But you should know when to call the doctor.

  1. If vomiting lasts for more than 8 hours.
  2. If the body temperature is more than 103 degree Fahrenheit.
  3. If there is blood in stools or vomit.
  4. If your baby has increased heartbeat.
  5. If your baby suffers from dehydration.
  6. If your baby has severe abdominal pain.

Treatment of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning does not usually need any medical treatment, unless it takes a severe form as mentioned above, as it runs its full natural cycle. Follow these simple tips to treat food poisoning and to make your toddler comfortable:

  1. Avoid giving dairy products to your baby.
  2. Keep your baby hydrated.
  3. Avoid solid food for at least 24 hours.
  4. Ensure your baby has plenty of rest.
  5. To relieve abdominal pain, place heat pad or lukewarm water bottle on your child's stomach.

If your child’s condition is still worsening, quickly take them to the doctor. The doctor will administer medication depending upon the type of food poisoning.

Every bite you take is either fighting a disease or feeding it, so choose the food wisely and make sure you do that for your nipper too.


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