Children and Young People’s Emergency Department
You have been given this information because your child has been diagnosed with gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and bowels (gut). It is usually caused by viruses like the Rotavirus. These usually come from other people who have been unwell with the virus, or by putting dirty hands or toys in the child’s mouth.
Occasionally it can be caused by infected food.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis
These may vary depending on the age of your child but include the following:
- High temperature
- Vomiting or poor feeding
- Abdominal pain
- Generally unwell and lethargic
- Offensive smelling or watery stool
Investigation of gastroenteritis
No investigation is required unless your child has bloody diarrhoea or is severely dehydrated.
Treatment of gastroenteritis
Some children may need rehydration sachets that you can buy at a pharmacy (i.e. Dioralyte).
Increase the amount of drinks your child has.
If breast fed, continue to do so.
If your child is vomiting, then give smaller feeds more frequently.
If your child has a temperature, you can give paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. Please check the medication label prior to giving to your child.
Don’t give them anti-diarrhoeal medications unless instructed by your GP.
Symptoms will usually settle on their own within 2 weeks.
Avoid your child going to school until 48hrs symptom free.
Seek immediate medical advice if any of the following occur:
- Unusually sleepy
- Unable to take oral fluids due to vomiting
- Your child has not drunk anything all day or not passed urine
- Your child has blood in the diarrhoea or vomit
- The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW
Telephone: 01642 850850
- The Friarage, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1JG
Telephone: 01609 779911
- Redcar Primary Care Hospital, West Dyke Road, Redcar, TS10 4NW
Telephone: 01642 511000
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.