Small child

Rotavirus infection in a child - how to properly treat and prevent

Rotaviruses are viruses from the reovirus family, which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. Small children are most at risk of rotavirus. Also in their case, the disease has a more intense course and is the most dangerous. Prolonged diarrhea, combined with vomiting, can lead to dehydration of the child's body, which in turn can directly threaten his life. That is why it is so important avoiding situations that could lead to rotavirus infection of the child, and in the event of disease symptoms, taking care of proper hydration and diet.

How can a child become infected with rotavirus?

Rotavirus is also called dirty hands disease. It moves mainly by touch and by ingestion. It is enough for a sick child not to wash their hands before eating, or after using the toilet, so that it can infect their peers. Interestingly, rotavirus can also be infected already after complete recovery of the carrier of the disease. Rotavirus is excreted from the body up to 10 days after complete resolution of the disease symptoms. That is why it is so important to leave the child at home for about a week after the symptoms disappear. But that's not all rotavirus is also transmitted during the incubation period. That is why there are so many cases of this disease in kindergartens and nurseries. Parents often do not know that their child is a carrier of the virus and unknowingly expose other children to the disease.

Symptoms of rotavirus infection in a child

The first sign of rotavirus infection is most often increased body temperature of the child. It may reach her up to 38 degrees Celsius. As next they appear quite intense vomiting combined with severe diarrhea. Stool given away by a sick child watery and can be green or yellow. Older children also complain of malaise, they are drowsy, listless and do not feel like having fun. Smaller children, in turn, become tearful and irritable it is often difficult to calm them down. A child infected with rotavirus he has no appetite and is reluctant to drink. Usually this condition persists from 4 to 10 days, but in the most severe cases it may take longer.

Rotavirus infection - how to treat it at home?

Rotavirus infection, despite the rather dramatic course, it is possible to cure at home. Remember to strictly follow hygiene rules, especially if we have other children at home. Also, do not allow healthy household members to come into direct contact with a sick child, and if this is impossible, insist that they wash their hands as often as possible. A sick child should eat light meals, preferably cooked and drink large amounts of water.

During the disease, it is also worth giving to the child preparations based on probiotics, which can be found in every pharmacy. Probiotics have a positive effect on the immunity and functioning of the digestive system, and their administration to a child during rotavirus infection will help restore the natural intestinal bacterial flora and reduce the duration of diarrhea. It is also worth giving to a child electrolytes that help hydrate the body. These are special preparations that dissolve in lukewarm water and give the child to drink.

Rotavirus and dehydration - when to take a child to the hospital?

Rotavirus symptoms should give way automatically after about 10 days. Due to the fact that the virus is present in the child's body for the next 10 days, it is worth not sending him to kindergarten or school during this time. It is also very important that during the disease closely watching the child. If we only notice that our child is:

  • gives small amounts of urine,
  • crying without tears
  • has blue and chapped lips and dry skin,
  • has a sunken dimple on his head,

let's not delay let's go to the hospital as soon as possible! These are the symptoms of dehydration, which can be very dangerous for our child's life.

Rotavirus - how to protect our children from it?

Rotavirus is a real scourge in nurseries and kindergartens, especially in the autumn and winter. It is enough that one child is its carrier, so that this disease quickly spread to other children in the group. That is why it is so important to carefully observe your child and at the moment when we notice that he develops a disease, do not send her to kindergarten. It should also be from an early age teach our child hygiene and urge you to wash your hands as often as possible, not only after using the toilet.

A way to avoid infection are also rotavirus vaccines. They are given to babies. If our child attends a nursery, it is worth considering buying a vaccine, because that's where there is the greatest risk of rotavirus infection. However, you should be aware of that the vaccine will not protect you from getting 100% sick. It often happens that vaccinated children also "catch" rotavirus, but in their case the course of the disease is usually (though not always) milder. In addition, each vaccine administration is associated with the risk of an unwanted vaccination reaction, not always light. Each time it is worth assessing individually what the balance of possible benefits and risks looks like.

Read how to help your child with "stomach flu".